Jaina Culture on the Eve of Turkish Conquest
Jain dharma is as old as the Rigveda in the pre historic period inasmuch as Rshabhadeva is regarded as the founder of the Jaina religion followed by a line of twenty-two tirthankaras until we come to Parsvanath who has been recognized as a historical figure prior to the 24th, the last but not the least tirthankara, a contemporary of Buddha in the 6th century, B.C. – a tirthankara who awarded a progressive outlook to the Jaina religion of antiquity. The doctrine of salvation and emancipation, as preached by Lord Mahavira, based on “universal catholicity, was the birthright of all without distinction of caste, creed or sex so much so indeed that even the so-called mlechchhas were ordained as Sramanas whose girls were taken in marriage by Jaina monarchs. “A devout Jaina can observe all sorts of customs and can follow any usage, provided it does not against his ideal of Liberation.” In fact ‘caste’ had no place of importance in Jainism according to Kundakundacharya. Instances of last Tirthankara himself, a Bhila in his previous life, of Bimbisara, the Magadha monarch, Indra bhuti (most learned Brahmana of Vedic persuasion) have been quoted as converts to Jainism after their vows of a ahimsa. Not only that. Even a chandala (lowest in the rung of the antyaja ladder) “should be respected and counted as a devata if he is endowed with Right Belief.” In fact Jainism was more catholic than Buddhism, admitting Greek foreigners, Persians and Sakas into the Jaina Sangha. Prevalence of catholicity lasted even up to the end of the 12th Century A.D., Ashadhara of Rajasthan enjoining the members of the Jaina Sangha to intermarry between themselves. Instances of varna-parivartan (change of class) are forthcoming so late as the end of the Early Medieval Period.
In the fourth century B.C. Jainism became divided into Shwetambara and Digambara, the first schism based on whether the Jaina munis and yatis should observe the time honoured nudism as a must or should have drapery on private parts. Although Jainism was not fortunate enough in getting enthusiastic supporters among emperors like Asoka, Kanishka, and Harsha, nevertheless it was spreading gradually into several parts of India on its own merits, always getting local support.
As soon as Bhadrabahu, the Jaina scholar, turned towards the South, Jaina religion spread to the Deccan and South India (besides Western India) in the fourth century before Christ. In course of time one third of the population there became Jainas. Peculiar it was that Jainism was being shorn of influence in Magadha (Bihar) its birth place. And the neighbouring regions while it was being popularised in far-flung places of Bharat even as late as the Gupta period. Jainism had first reached the Deccan direct; between 800 and 1200 A.D. it became most influential in Gujarat, Malwa and Rajasthan.
Pauranic Hinduism with its rigid caste system, converted the Jaina laity to its new sects known as Vira Saiva, Lingayata and Ramanujas and the remaining Jainas, reduced to a minority, were greatly influenced by their Hindu neighbours. The Jaina acharyas now became strict and reserved in nature so much so that they formed their respective small groups of followers called mandalas, each controlled by a mandalacharya Bhattaraka who had his seat at some important place, who served, in the beginning of their regime the cause of Jainism rightly well by diffusing about the Jaina tenets and by converting people from all classes of society, putting the neophytes into various folds according to their different localities and occupations of livelihood so much so that the Vaishyas in course of time became the main supporters of Jainism with some ruling families, the former being much influenced by its ahimsa and moral life.
There were no change made in Jaina philosophy and canonical discipline during the Early Medieval period nor did any new creeds come into existence other than the ancient Digambara and Shvetambara; nevertheless local features made their appearance in it. Both the sects were subdivided into Sangha, Gana, Kula, Shakha and Gachchhas, the number of Gachchhas rising in the tenth century to 84, besides other recognizable nomenclatures as svetapat, pandubhikshu, nirgrantha, shapanaka etc.
Among innovations, thanks to the influence of the Buddha and Hindu dharma, the Jainas started image carving in the 6th century A.D., Jina puja, giving place to Jaina religious ideals based on Agama shastra. Soom started the construction of temples for the consecration of images of Tirthankaras on a large scale. Taking the cue from the Hindus, the Jainas adopted for worship a number of gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon, besides their own Pancha-Parameshthins, the five fold Divinity, namely the Arhats, the Siddhas, the Acharyas, the Upadhyayas and the Sadhus the half millennium (550-1050) being the most prolific, south of Vindhyas in this respect. By far the greatest achievement of the Indian sculpture is the colossal image of Gommateshwara in Sravanabelgola about which Fergusson has remarked as follows :- “Nothing grander or more imposing exists anywhere out of Egypt, and even there, no known statue surpasses in height.”
The last two hundred years of the Early Medieval Jainism (1000-1200) saw great developments in the realm of Jain iconographical innovations, even the Jaina saints persuading their followers to carve Brahmanical deities. Even the blood sucking ‘Indo-Austric’ Devi-Mata was adopted by Jaina worshippers as a vegetarian deity, besides elephant headed Yaksha, as the nearest parallel to Ganesha, the pashu-devata of Brahmanism. Among female deities taken from Brahmanical iconography Saraswati and Lakshmi catered to the acquisition of ‘learning’ for the saints and of ‘wealth’ for the householders respectively. The four faced temple with a chaturmukh – most popular Jaina theme, seems to have been a development of the Chaturmukh Siva of the Gupta period. Among popular goddesses were the Yakhinis, Ambika and the Chakreshwari with all their accompaniments, multitudinal arms and the prescribed objects which they held in their arms and laps. The more a devi became popular, the more a Jaina Sramana was amenable to the cult of ‘Karma-Kand’ against which Mahavira had started his religious reform. The Jainas had now not only started Jina-Puja-bhakti but also subscribed to the caste system, ‘Sraddha’ and pitritarpana which further brought them nearer to Pauranic Hinduism. Jina-puja, started for veneration, had developed into Jina-bhakti.
There was a two-fold division in Jaina society that of the grihastha and the sanyasi. Of these, the class of the saints was overflowing with piety, penance, sacrifice and nisprahta (freedom from desire) etc. This gave them a respectable and honourable place in Jaina society and ruling circles. The life of all Jaina sanyasis however was not ideal; several of them had adopted the role of ascetics for enjoying life. But on the whole the moral standard of the Jaina monks was above reproach. For this reason they were popular revered both in society and government of the day. They inculcated the traders and well-to-do classes the importance of the four charities, giving away of knowledge, grains, medicines to the deserving people and donating for the construction of upashvas or the erection of sharana sthalas (resting places) and inspired them for philanthropy; having nothing to accept for their own selves. This led to the building of large number of Jainalayas and upashrayas in several parts of the country during the Early Medieval period especially in Western India – Rajasthan, Malwa and Gujarat.
Like the followers of other faiths, the Jains discovered during this period the means to salvation in ‘Omnamo alihantanam,’ ‘Mahavirayanamah’ and ‘Arhana’ and uttered these mantras.1
The fame of the Jainas, pertaining to learning, inspired many a Brahmana to adopt Jainism, Gujarat being the chief centre of Jainism in the Early Medieval period when the Jainas had to face strong rivalry of the Saivas (and the Vaishnava revivalists) in the South. Tired of persecution perhaps, some, Jaina families and others may have crossed over to Gujarat where the Solanki rulers were fully liberal towards Jainism, Jaina mandirs and proselytization by Haribhadra and where Jineshvara Suri got the title of Kharatara from king Durlabharaja for defeating the Chaitya vasins in debate. The Gurjara-Pratihara Emperor established colossal images of Mahavira Swami in his Metropolis, Kanauj and Gwalior, the second capital. The Jainas, residing in sizable number in Sawalakh, Tahangiri and Abu, became more and more influential in Gujarat specially during the rules of Jaisinha Siddharaja and Kumarapala (turned Jaina under the influence of Hemachandra). According to Jaina pattavalis, several Jaina acharyas proceeded from Malwa to Rajasthan to preach. Jainacharya Meghachandra II of Ujjain, made Baran, the centre of his activities while others went to Chittor – both places being parts of the then Malwa kingdom of the Paramaras where Jaina families had settled in Dhar, Mando, Nalchha, Ujjain, Oon etc. In the tenth century a ‘sangha’ was started to Shatrunjaya and Jaina acharyas like Amitgati, Mahasena, Dhanpala and Dhaneshwara Suri enjoyed the patronage of king Vakpati Munja.
In Khajuraho (East Bundelkhand), Parsvanatha temple was built in the time of Dhanga Chandela (950-70) and Jainism was flourishing under the protection of Brahmanism. Several Hindu deities have been carved in the Jaina temples of Khajuraho e.g. Parashuram, Rama-Sita, Krishna Leela, Hanuman, Siva, Navagrah, Digpala etc, worth mention Deogarh in the Lalitpur district of modern Uttar Pradesh was the great cultural centre of Jainism in the then Western Bundelkhand.
In South India, the Jainas had received a set-back due to the renaissance in the Hindu religion, although Jainism continued to spread among the rulers, Vaishyas and agriculturists, the Rashtrakuta ruler, Amogha varsha being pro-Jaina.2
Jainism as a Religion on the road to Decadence :—
Innovations in the society of the Jaina minority community living in close proximity of the Hindu majority, in course of time was but natural, leading to transformation. This has been shown above with the qualification, in the words of a learned Jain scholar, that customs and usages borrowed make little difference in Jainism “provided it goes not against its ideal of Liberation”. But here is an affirmation leading to a wandering from the right path and a deviation from truth in the form of a chaitya or resting place adopted by certain Jain monks expected to move about continuously from place to place, normally living in forests. Their deviation from the normal practice was absolutely intolerable, as early as the 8th century in Gujarat, the stronghold of Jainism during this period under “a number of brilliant teachers of whom Haribhadra Suri of Chitor2 (700-70 A.D.) was the foremost, a learned Brahmana who had accepted Jainism as more rational and followed its teachings in letter as well as spirit. Jainism was to be a rational religion, without any mysteries of super – abundant ritual and ceremonies – a religion the message of which was to reach every one without any distinction of caste and class, wealth or property. Asceticism, self-abnegation, self-control and chastity were to be the characteristics of a true follower of Jina for thus alone could one dissociate from the Karmika material which holds down the soul (atma). Yet Haribhadra found many Jaina sadhus (now known as chaityarasins) living in chaityas and mathas, building Jaina temples, putting to personal use money allotted for religious purposes, wearing scented and coloured clothes, singing in the presence of women, paying court to the rich, using tambula (betel), lavanga and flowers, taking rich food, selling images of Jina, practising astrology, reading omens, quarreling with each other to have disciples, putting off religious discussion by telling people that abstruse matters could not be discussed with them in short doing practically every thing which a Jaina Sadhu should not do. (Haribhadra Suri’s Sambodha Prakarana)…….(Hairibhadra Suri) raised his powerful voice…..(and) by the word of mouth and his pen, he did more than any other Jaina teacher to meet the arguments of the Buddhists as well as the Hindu revivalists and to purify the Jaina Church of many evils.”3
Udyotana Suri (author of the Kuvalaya mala Katha), a pupil (of Haribhadra Suri, followed by) Siddharsi Suri (in the 9th century), the writer of Upamiti bhava prapancha-katha (continued the work of the great pioneer). But the acharyas who succeeded most……were probably of the Gachha known as Kharatara (who propagating the) Haribhadra teachings, they actually made them a living force (in the eleventh century)……
Jineswara Suri (again a Brahmana), in whose time his followers received the designation of Khara tara on account of their following the strict and true path laid down in the Jaina scriptures (puritanism) defeated the chaitya – vasins in a religious discussion (Shastrartha) at the court of king Durlabharaja Solanki (C. 1010-22) of Gujarat.
Abhayadeva Suri (his disciple) wrote his commentaries on the Jaina angas from 1063 to 1071 A.D……..(His) teachings (and) personal examples won over many people.
Vidhi-marga :- (The) great disciple (of Abhayadeva Suri) Jinavallabha (d. 1169 = 1112 A.D.)……….(of) Asika (Hansi) (led people to) the “right path” – the ‘Vidhi – marga’ (founded by Vardhamanasuri) as the Khartaras called it. (He) leaving Pattan, chose Rajasthan as the sphere (of his reform movement)…(Rajasthan which was) full of chaityavasins and their followers (like Gujarat). If he succeeded in establishing vidhich-aitya, they tried to capture it……Now and then blood even flowed (in this tug).4
………..Jinavallabha made Chitrakuta (Chittor) his headquarters……won over……many followers, lay as well as clerical, who soon made his teachings well known in Rajasthan and Malwa especially….in Bagad (i.e. Dungarpur Banswara – Pratapagarh). Reformed temples (vidhi chaityas) were established at Marukotta, Narwar Nagor and Chitor and perhaps in other places also; each one of these bore the following inscription—
“Here are followed no rites of those who go against the sutras. None ever bathes here at night. It is no property of the sadhus. Women do not get admission here at night. There is no insistence on the privileges of castes and sub-castes. The worshippers here are given no tambula (betel leaves). Such are the rules of a Vidhichaitya (Footnote, 15 Ibid).
(King) Naravarmana of Malwa, at the time, the overlord also of Chitor, sent for him (Jinavallabha) to Dhara and in recognition for his poetic talent and selfless life4 granted him two Parutthadrammas daily from the custom house of Chitor for the maintenance of its two vidhichaityas.
The so-called sadhus donned the monastic garb and yet yearned for pleasures and enjoyments. No Jaina sadhu is permitted by his scriptures to take food especially prepared for him; he is only a recipient of what is superfluous and can easily be spared by the householder for the other’s use. Yet these so-called sadhus took greedily what their disciples prepared for them. They made Jaina temples their homes in spite of the fact that their religious life in them was bound to be interfered with by the singing of musicians, dancing of courtesans, sounding of drums and crowding in of spectators, wearing of garlands and costly garlands. For a real sadhu, a layman’s house was a far better habitation; in fact this had been the practice of the great Jaina tirthankaras and teachers. Jina canonic law condemns acceptance of money and property, undertaking of worldly projects and the un-Jaina practice of eating many times a day. They do not allow also the use of padded and comfortable seats, such use being indicative of lack of self-control and desire for enjoyment, both of them ridiculous in a bhikshu. But the chaityavasins taught something different. They told the people to adhere to their own gachcha, saying that a man’s gachcha was fixed for ever. When questioned about property, they told their disciples that a yati had after all his requirements. Even if a Kharatara taught something prescribed by the scriptures, a Chaityavasin’s follower had directions not to accept such a teaching……. (Such) lead of brats, picked from streets, and made into acharyas, who defying all religious injunctions and enjoying the best of life courted popularity by organizing religious processions, bathing ceremonies of gods, spectacles and the like and acted almost as ordinary house-holders, regarding the gachcha as their house-hold and the temples as their property. Such sadhus were bound to invite the ridicule of the populace and make them feel that there were not any greater hypocrites than the Jaina sadhus who were thought to be practising penance, even when they had property, comfortable houses to live in, luxurious beds to lie on and almost every vice and weakness of the common herd.
When Jinavallabha died in S. 1169=1112 A.D., the vidhichaitya movement…….was carried on by his distinguished pupil (of Rajasthan), Jinadatta Suri (d.V. 1211=1154A.D.), popularly known as Dadaji who perhaps won over more adherents to the Kharatara fold than any acharya that preceded or followed him…….adopting Apabhramsa (as his medium)………..His Charchari, Upadesarasaya and Kalasvarupakulaka……(were composed in) simple yet poetic language…..; the first two could even be set to music and sung while dancing. Chitrakut (Chittor), Nagor, Narbhata and Kanyanayana (Northern Bagad), Ajmer, Vikramapura (Southern Bagad), Rudrapalli, Ujjayani and Dhara…….Uchchha (Sindh) were among various cites visited……6
The next acharya, Jinachandra Suri (was) author of Prabodhavadasthala advocating the vidhichaitya point of view7…….. Jinapati Suri (d. 1277=12220)…… made further progress-…….need of reform had became fully recognized (by) many other acharyas too, not belonging to the Kharataragachcha…. notably Hemachandra Suri…….Jainism had either the favour or the active and steady support of a number of Chauhan rulers and their ministers……Prthviraja III employed Jainas in his service and granted Jayapatra to Jinapala Suri in V. 1239 (1182)…….Accession of the Jaina emperor Kumarapala, the overlord of Nadol (etc.) (was a landmark in the expansion of the reformist movement). The amamari – ghosanas (proclamations of non-slaughter) (are frequently met with on Jaina festival days)…..Jainism was a proselytising religion, all castes, though the Vaisya caste perhaps predominated, were represented in the Jaina Samaj)…..Many Rajasthan Brahmanas of the 12th century appear to have been non-vegetarians. Their descendants of today, however, are vegetarians most probably due to the humanising influence of Jainism. It offset not merely the influence of their meat-eating patrons, the Rajaput princes and chiefs, but made them, in due course, the staunchest advocate of ahimsa“.8 (for the ahimsa of the Nagaur Sufis please refer to the thirteenth century Chisthi counterparts of the Kharataras in the relevant section following in this article – Sufis who flourished in Rajasthan in the vidhimarga background with their own precepts and practices of renunciations (tark-i duniya) and, like Jinaprabha Suri in the next century, had cordial relations with Muhammad Tughluq, the most learned Sultan (but difficult to deal with) who ever sat on the throne of Delhi and who enjoyed his liberality namely Sufi Hmeeduddin Nagauri alias (Sultan-ut) ‘Tarikeen’s grandson, Shaikh Fariduddin alias Chakparran).
In spite of his repeated invasions of Northern India in the first quarter of the eleventh century, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was a patron of a great Muslim Sanskritic scholar, Abu Raihan Alberuni whose book, written in Arabic is the only source book for our knowledge about India culture on the eve of the Turkish conquest of India. Unfortunately Alberuni had no contacts with Jaina scholars during his stay in places like Multan where he wrote his Kitabul Hind9 and we get no information at all about the conditions of Jainas and their learning from this source.
Another book, written in Ghaznavide Lahore, perhaps during the revivalist regime of Sultan Ibrahim Ghaznavi (1059-99) was the first Manual on Sufism ever written in Persian namely the Kashful Mahjub9 of Shaikh Abul Hasan Ali Hujwairi alias Data Ganj Bakhsh (Giver of Treasure). This was the period in Western India when the vidhimarga movement among the Svetambara Jainas, had been in full swing in Rajasthan under the Gujarat – based Jinavallabha Suri of Hansi in spite of persecution at the hands of the chaityavasins. Of the reformed temples (vidhi chaityas), one was established in Nagaur (Sawalakh), the military capital of the Chauhan rulers of Sambhar.
Sultan Ibrahim, according to the Persian writer, Minhaj-us Siraj, was very learned, erudite, lover of justice, god-fearing, kind, a friend of the Ulema, religioner and religious (Tabaqat-i Nasiri, Urdu Tr. pp. 428-29). He sent a deputation consisting of Sayyid Anas Mashhadi (Didwana), Sayyid Tahir Mashhadi (Khatu) and Sayyid Raushan Ali (Ajmer i.e. Sambhar) who arrived in H.424=1091, as per the alphabetical chronogram ‘Koh-i Jannat’ (Mount Paradise) corresponding to the reign of Prthviraj I (C. 1090-1110) to enquire about the startling news that homicide of Muslims was prevalent in Rajasthan! As to these Muslims, there were a sizable number of colonies in Western India, the Ganga-Jamuna Valley, and the coastal regions of migrant people like, tourists and traders with whom the antyaja untouchable class came into contact and got converted to Islam. In fact these neophyte antyajas, described by Alberuni and Jaina sources, were sometimes the victims of sacrifice at the hands of the worshippers of Brahmanical gods wanting flesh and blood like Bhairon in Nagaur.
Shaikh Hameeduddin Raihani arrives in Nagaur :—
Only three years later than the arrival of this deputation was the coming of a freelance Sufi Shaikh Hameeduddin Raihani, alias Raihani Dada in Nagaur of which the Persian chronogram quoted is Daur-i Nagaur’ (Age of Nagaur) equivalent to 487H.=1094A.D. Alberuni had already recorded that the invasions of Mahmud had struck terror among people resulting in great prejudice and animosity against all Muslims (Turk and non-Turk) and Ghaznavide invasions were a recurring feature10 of the eleventh century, king Durlabhraj Chauhan III, having met his death in a battle against Sultan Ibrahim. This added a new fuel to the fire of hatred between the two communities. This Muslim Sufi co-believer in the doctrine of ahimsa par excellence found a good reception and hospitality in the midst of Oswal Jainas, the most influential community in the town whose population counted the legendary figure of ‘nine hundred and ninety- nine’ families! The family into which he was admitted in the garb of a Sufi or a Jaina jati, were the ancestors of Rajmal Chaudhari, son of Pannalal in the Mahalla (quarter) called Kalipol. The ‘Nau Kothi Upasra’, known as such after the nine cells for practising yoga, still exists in a dilapidated condition with the facade of the doorway, a specimen of exquisite architectural workmanship where Raihani Dada practised his penance at the same time teaching the Jaina (perhaps also Brahmana) children the three R’s in the Posal near by whose building has recently been renovated. Thus practising yoga and teaching Jaina children he developed fraternity and intimacy with the Community of Ahimsa’ and he is supposed to have breathed his last in 1164-65 (or thereafter) in the last year of Emperor Vigraharaja IV at an advanced age when a new Sufi-minded arrival is said to have performed his funeral prayers namely Shaikh Muhammad Ata, the future Qazi Hameeduddin Nagauri whose descendants in the village of Rohel Qaziyan have preserved this family tradition.11
‘Khidmat-i Khalq’ (public welfare or Jana kalyan) was the first time-honoured duty of a Sufi who believed in the maxim “al-Khalq Allah” (All creatures are the progeny of Allah) and Raihani Dada was treated as a Jain; his memorials, ‘Dadawari’ on the Station Road, the Upasra of Bajarwara Mahalla and the place called ‘Nau Chhatriyon ka Sthana’ at a distance of two kilometres outside the Nagaur city are extant today to commemorate him.
As to the funeral rites of Raihani Dada, his corpse or shava started on Jaina shoulders all the way to the place of funeral pyre outside the Mai Gate where some Muslims obstructed their passage with the claim that the Raihani Dada’s body was to be buried under the earth and not burnt on the fire. The sacred body had to be put down and when uncovered, behold! The body no more there except flowers, was detected on the side of the Muslims who buried it outside the Mai Gate where an ordianry maqbara will be found raised on Raihani Dada’s remains. This is the recorded version of the tradition in the much-read Urdu booklet of Qazi Rahman Bakhsh12 of Rohel.
Homicide of Antyaja untouchables in Nagaur
It stands to reason that the reign of Vigraharaja IV (C, 1150-64-65), the first Chauhan Emperor of Ajmer, alias Beesal Deo so very considerate to the non-violent Jainas in the matter of himsa in the Golden Age of the Chauhans, ‘narbali’ i.e. human sacrifice was tolerated in a town dominated by Oswal Svetambaras which was the rendezvous of the reformist Kharatara gachchha whose saints, off and on, visited the place on the way to (Tomara) Delhi and who, not only had made Rajasthan as the main sphere of their religious activities but their followers were running a vidhi-chaitya itself. It was given to an would-be Sufi visitor 1164-65), when the Chauhan capital had already been transferred about half a entury back by Ajayadeva ( ) to Ajmer while Nagaur fort was held by the local Governor, called Beesal Deo in the Rohel tradition by mistake or psychological oblivion, to use his spiritual influence on the Governor to save the life of a young son of a widowed woman of the Teli caste regarded as untouchable even after conversion to Islam. This spiritual success13 of Muhammad ‘Ata is remembered as Fath-i Nagaur’ (Conquest of Nagaur) after the departure of Muhammad bin (son of) ‘Ata whose masjid in Mahalla Kharradiyan is extant today as the first mosque ever erected in Rajasthan. What was the reaction to this event on the local Jainas is not known.
Another tradition recorded by modern historians is about the Great Khwaja (Khwaja-i Buzurg) undertaking his first ever journey to Hindusthan in the same year as Muhammad ‘Ata (1164-65) but His Holiness tarried in Lahore to perform his ‘Chilla’ (Lent) in the mausoleum of Data Ganj Bakhsh only to proceed to Multan from where he returned, back his aim being to learn Hindvi (Indian) dialects, returning finally after about three decades in H.587=1191A.D. even prior to the second battle of Tarain (1192) during the reign of Rai Pithaura. Prthviraja III being a young ruler of unripe age in Ajmer, according to the tradition prevalent in the Durgah area of Ajmer, was persuaded by interested people to put the spirituality of the octogenarian Khwaja to test through Jaipal Jogi who was not only discomfited in the attempt but offered himself as a mureed (disciple) and was named Abdulla.
Sufi Tarikeen of Nagaur :
On the day when Shahabuddin Ghori’s general, Aibak annexed Delhi to Ajmer-Nagaur Khalisa Land of the Chauhans, was born a male baby to the daughter of an Arabic-oriented astrologist who had given her in marriage to an immigrant from Lahore. This was no other than the handsome child of promising nature in the opulent family of his father who soon made himself the victim of spoilt boyhood before he came into contact with the Khwaja of Ajmer, who, observing lucky signs on his forehead, started his spiritual training under his own auspices when, as a youth, transformed in his social ideals to such an extant that he could turn down the invitation of his former company of associates saying, “I have tied my waist-band (kamar band) so tightly that it may not be loosened on the houris of paradise on the Day of Judgement!” This lad was no other than the future Sultan-ut Tarikeen Sufi Hameeduddin Nagauri, popularly called Tarikeen Sahib, the embodiment of the two-fold traits of character namely Renunciation (‘Tark’) and Sufistic ‘ahimsa’ (non-injury)’ of the Chishtiya Order or Silsila, Ajmer counterpart of the Gujarat Khartara of which this junior Khalifa of Khwaja was posted to the region of salt producers and marble miners with an influential population of opulent Jain traders. Let us, therefore, give here a picture of Jain society in Nagaur town in the middle of the thirteenth century when the Sufi (his family epithet) Tarikeen (as entitled by his preceptor) settled down in the heart of Sawalakh (Marwar) as a middle-aged bachelor. His Senior Peer Bhai was Khwaja Qutbuddin Ooshi with whom the name of the Minar in Mehrauli village is popularly designated as Qutb Sahib Ki Lat a lover of Sufi Music called Qawwali on which Qazi Hameeduaddin14 Nagauri made common cause with the Chisthi Khalifa at Delhi at a time when the Delhi citizens did not regard Qawwali Music as lawful in Islam.
Jainism in Nagaur
We have taken pains to delineate the coming of the Sufis in Nagaur and the organization of the Chishtiya-Silsila in Ajmer with its two main branches in the erstwhile Tomara city of Delhi, presently the capital of the slave Aibak as Sultan Qutbuddin after the death of Sultan Muhammad Ghori (1206) followed to the Turkish throne by S. Shamsuddin Iltutmish Muhammad bin ‘Ata had twice returned to Nagaur first as Qazi (Judge) for three years under Ghazni and subsequently as the populator of Rohel Qaziyan and recipient of the same Jagir under Iltutmish, his old acquaintance of his Baghdad childhood as a slave boy -Iltutmish under whose hegemony the city of Tomar Delhi developed into a Metropolis of the Turkish Empire. We have done so with a view to highlight the activities of the Kharatara vidhichaityins – the Suris Jinadatta, Jinachandra and Jinapati; each of whom visited Nagaur in the 12th century A.D. and made converts more from among Rajputs than from amongst the Brahmana samaj. Similarly Jinavallabha Suri and Jinadatta Suri were visitors of Nagaur like Hameeduddin Raihani (1094) and Muhammad Ata (1164-65). Jinaprabha Suri, the favourite associate of Sultan Muhammad Tughluq also passed through Nagaur on his way to Delhi via Hansi when the great building activities of Pethad Sah of Mando and his transcribing activities had won laurels for him in the thirteenth century of the Christian Era prior to the conquest of Malwa and Chanderi by Ainul Mulk Multani on behalf of Alauddin Khilji. During the rule of S. Qutbuddin Khilji, his successor on the request of Seth Samal, the Saraogis (householder Jainis) took part in the sangha (pilgrimage party) which had started from Bhimapalli. In the same century again both the contemporary local officials and the Delhi Sultan honoured a pious and abstemious Jaina of Nagaur like Thakkur Achal Singh who acquired a permit from Delhi for visit to places of pilgrimage in 1317 A.D. Prior to this, as early as in 1117A.D, Padmaprabha Suri of Nagaur Tapagachchha another Order, had already earned the title of ‘Nagauria Tapa’ by performing a Mahan tapasya (magnificent self-mortification).
An interesting thing occurring in Nagaur was the existence of Nagavanshi Kshatriyas, Nagavanshi Jainas and Nagavanshi Muslim Rajput Tak rulers called Khanzadas15 in the fifteenth century who were favourites of the Jaina community of Nagaur (Vide ‘Peroj Prashasti’ (Sanskrit).
The Great Revolution of 1192-93 following the second Battle of Tarain has been called by modern historians as the “Downfall of Northern India” and Prthviraja III as the “Last Hindu Emperor”. The result of the terrible battle was decisive and far-reaching, enduring and everlasting – the free entry into India through Raashtan (and Delhi) of an alien religious civilization for the first time in the history of Bharat, as old as seven centuries whose free-lance representatives had been visiting India and settling here during the last one hundred years or more—a highly developed community in the realm of religion and literature particularly Sufism, professing and practising a faith of pure monotheism uncompromisable with the pantheistic idolatry of Pauranic Hinduism which had greatly influenced Mahavir’s pure unalloyed Jainism during the last millennium.
As indicated by the poetic historian Isami, innumerable families of the middle class had entered India in the wake of Turkish conquest during the reign of Sultan Iltutmish (1210-35)—Sufis like Qazi Hameeduddin Nagauri and Khwaja Qutbuddin being the most prominent. As for Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti, whose junior Khalifa served the cause of Sufism in Nagaur viz. Sufi Hameeduddin Nagauri alias Sultan-ut Tarikeen (the Great Renunciant or Maha-tyagi, his teachings are most relevant to us presently in the context of Jainism in the thirteenth century – teachings, besides ahimsa, which seem to have been sources of attraction for the Jaina laity in the course of three centuries or more.
Qualifications of a Renunciant (Tyagi)
According to the Sarur-us Sudur, Book of Conversations of Sufi Hameeduddin Nagauri, “Once while the Great Khwaja (i.e. his perceptor) was present in the Fort of Ajmer (i.e. Taragarh) when a dervish (friar) put in a query as to the qualification of a renunciant (tyagi) to which the Khwaja called upon Shaikh Hameed to supply the questioner with the details of renunciation (tyag) for the benefit of Muslims as per ‘Tariqat’ (Sufism) of the Chishti School. “Firstly, that he should not earn. Secondly, he should not incur debt. Thirdly, even. after a seven day fast, he should not disclose his secret to any body and should not ask for help. Fourthly, in case he is offered a good deal of eatables, cash, grain or cloth, he should not save anything for the next day. Fifthly, he should not afflict anybody with curse. Sixthly, that if he fares well, he should attribute it to the affection (shafqat) of his pir (guru), intercession (Shafa-‘at) of the Holy Prophet and mercy (Rahmat) of the God Almighty. Seventhly, if he commits an unrighteous deed, he should regard it as an evil omen, refraining from bad deeds and fearing Allah so that the same act of commission may not occur again. Eightly, when he has reached this stage, he should keep fast in the day and stand for pre-dawn (or tahajjud) prayers in the night. Ninthly, he should maintain silence except when speech is inevitable as prescribed in the ‘Shari-‘at’ (sacred law) of Prophet Muhammad, that it is haram (forbidden) to speak and haram also to keep silence purporting to the effect that he should utter words which may earn the goodwill of Almighty God”.
Cheetal, the Shaikh of the Times
On an occasion sometime after 1224 A.D. approximately, five distinguished Sufi saints had assembled in Delhi namely Shaikh Najibuddin Nakhshabi (adoptive father of the Sultan Iltutmish), Shaikh Muinuddin Chishti (Ajmeri), Shaikh Jalaluddin Tabrezi, Shaikh Qutbuddin Bakhtyar (Ooshi), and Shaikh Hameeduddin (Dhillavi, later Nagauri), the narrator of the antecedote, when, the question arose “Who the ‘Shaikh of the Times’ could be and who (actually) is?” Shaikh Hameeduddin (Sultan-ut Tarikeen) remarked, “Cheetal is the ‘Shaikh-i Waqt’!” Hearing this ‘meaningful’ phrase, the other saints present were silenced.16
Sufi Hameeduddin as a householder in Nagaur
A Sufi does not take celibacy for granted; he is not necessarily a celibate. As Jainism is a religion of yogis, let us see whether Sufi Hameeduddin, a vegetarian in practice and abstainer from himsa can or may correspond to the position of a Jaina ‘ Kshullaka’ Shravaka of the eleventh Pratima.
Sufi Hameeduddin was leading a simple life of penury and want in Nagaur with ‘Khadija Mai’ a religious and talented daughter of the Qazi family of Ladnun of Sayyid lineae, while he himself was a representative of the Faruqi family of Hazrat ‘Umar, the second Caliph of Islam when the Governor of Nagaur ‘Khitta’ approached the Sufi Sahib with the offer of a piece of land and some cash which he turned down in confirmity with the Chishti tradition brought by his Master of Ajmer. Again the imperial grant of a village with five hundred silver tankas was rejected on the advice of the purdah lady at a time when the loin-sheet of the husband was torn and when the wife, deprived of head-dress (orhna or dupatta), was wont to cover her head with the hind part of her shirt, on the ground that “I have kept ready self-spun yarn for my ‘dupatta‘ and your ‘tahband‘; why do you worry”? This house-keeping lady performed her house-hold work with own hands-skimming curd or spinning yarn, and catered to the needs of the poor. She had a grocer-boy (bania) as an adoptive child. In this age of great controversy throughout this Islamic world as to whether ‘affluence’ is better than ‘destitution,’ the Sufi Sahib had an altercation with Shaikh Bahauddin Zakariya Multani in Delhi, referred to above, followed by a lengthy correspondence in the matter so much so that it provoked a son of the Multani saint to such an extent that he came all the way from Multan to Nagaur to pick up a big row against the Nagauri over the his absence in Juma prayers as a defaulter. The Holy Prophet never took pride in anything except in ‘faqiri’ (penury), his invocation being, “O Allah! Keep me alive as a ‘miskeen’ (have-not) and give me death as a ‘miskeen’ and resurrect me along with the ‘miskeens.’ Any reference to the ‘world’ in the society of Sufi Tarikeen was taboo. So aloof was he from worldly affairs that he would not purchase even a kuza (earthen pot) from the market. In case a ‘futuh‘ (offering unasked for) came to him, he was unmindful about it, what to speak of expending it. As for accepting the ‘futuh’ he would say, “If I know that the person, responsible for bringing the offering, would not be grieved in case I turned it down, I would certainly refuse to accept it. Since I am aware that my refusal would hurt his feelings, I accept the offering.” (Cf. the practice of Jina-prabhasuri in the next century.
Once the Shaikh was seen to be bare-headed without turban, he revealed his last nigh’s vision that “angels were putting down names of ‘unworldly’ persons. When they approached me, they found me still bound by the ‘Chahar-gazi (four yard turban). Hearing this I caused the small turban to fall down from my head where upon they were pleased to include my name among the ‘unwordlies.’ When I wore up, behold! I found the turban lying on the ground and my head bare.”
Malik Karih was a Turkish officer, presumably the local Governor, who would not pay the ‘madad-i ma-ash except on the Shaikh presenting himself. The Great Shaikh, laying hands on his beard, remarked, “Having attained this age if I acquire my stipend from a second person, you would have said that far from seeing the Turk, Baba may better forego the stipend.”
Sultan-ut Tarikeen and Vegetarianism
As meat eating is optional in Islamic Shari-‘at, the Shaikh is reported by his grandson and successor that the Baba enjoined on his people not to offer meat, on his death as a requital for his soul. Cooking of meat during his ‘urs’ anniversary is forbidden ever since which ban is observed till today, to the great chagrin of the Ulema class. The Suhrawardi Manual,17 equally acceptable to the Chishtis has reported that the Holy Prophet who ate meat and liked, if, but abstained from meat eating of his own accord.18 Mir Ghulam Ali alias Azad Bilgrami, the celebrated saint writer of the 18th century says in appreciation of non-violence (ahimsa) that Sayyid Mahmud Akbar never oppressed a living creature; this is the practice of the ”abdals19 who do not kill a living creature nor oppressing man-injuring animals like stinging scorpions. By chance a saint hit an ant which died with the result that he suffered by the loss of his angelic vision” (Ma-aasir-ul Kiram, Urdu tr. P. 116). A similar story of an out has been recorded about Sufi Hameeduddin Nagauri which had come crawling) on his clothes unnoticed from a distance, carried back all the way to its place of origin, creepy crawly. (Sarur-us Sudur MS).
It is recorded in the apocryphal malfuzat (conversations) of Khwaja Usman Haruni (Pir of Khwaja Ajmeri) that “Whoever slaughtered two cows (or bulls) he committed one homicide; if four bulls, two (homicides), if ten goats he likewise killed one human being”. Sufi Hameeduddin had a pet cow which had received some injury and he was found dressing her wounds (applying ointment and bandage) when suddenly he was visited by a Hindu poet whose misconception about intending slaughter was soon removed on nearer approach.
A Sufi saint, in short, was non-violece personified.
Relations with non-Muslims
We come across little or nothing about relations of the Sufi Sahib with non-Muslims or Jainas for the matter of that – except his Hindu friend about whom he is said to have remarked that “he is a ‘wali‘ (friend of Allah).” He had relations with a bania family whose grocer-boy often visited his wife Khadija Mai as her adoptive son.
Sufi Music (Qawwali or Sama i.e. Audition)
Just mentioning the great Qazi Hameeduddin as the victim of the ”fatwa’ of the two Ecclesiastical Muftis; Qazi Sa’d and Qazi Ima’d in the imperial Court of Sultan Iltutmish and his successful defiance in the presence of the Emperor, the Qazi’s acquaintance in his child- hood days in Baghdad, we pass on to the popularization of Qawwali Music in the Turkish Metropolis (Delhi) at the hands of the twin protagonists Qazi Hameeduddin Nagauri and Khwaja Qutbuddin Ooshi (arrival 1224 A.D.) so much so indeed that Qawwali in the next century was raised to the position of art by the greater poet Laureate Hazrat Amir Khusrau, an amateur in Indo-Persian Music under the auspices of his greater teacher and Qawwali patron – Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi and so much so also that the Qawwali of Qazi Hameeduddin Nagauri’s standard was responsible for the ‘spiritual demise’ of two great Sufi auditionists namely Khwaja Qutb, the Qazi’s own collaborator in Sufi musicology in Delhi and Shaikh Aziz, eldest son and heir apparent of Sufi Hameeduddin of Nagaur in the city of the OSWAL Svetambaras of Sawalakh. This post-Qawwali feature an event of grave consequences, continued up to the twentieth century and must have left a strong impression on the Jainas in general and the OSWALS of Nagaur in particular, thanks to the intimation affectionate fraternization of Raihani Dada whose relic is still treasured as an object of adoration in the house of the late Chaudhari Rajmal son of Pannalal.
Shaikh Fariduddin alias Chakparran
Now we pass on to the grandson of Sufi Tarikeen Sahib, who after the ‘spiritual demise’ of his father as victim of Qawwali audition, succeeded to the carpet of spiritualism left vacant by the Great Shaikh. As Shaikh Farid of the Chishtiya – Hameediya Silsila, (Order) of Nagaur was the favourite Sufi mystic of Muhammad Tughluq the learned scholastic Sultan – Emperor of Delhi in the next century (14th), a great admirer of the equally great Jinaprabha Suri of the Kharataragachha who passed through Nagaur on his way to Delhi via Hansi, we are taking pains to record the special favours conferred on the Suris’s Chishtiya counter-part of Rajasthan and on the graveyard (Qabrastan) of his immediate predecessor which has proved to be a memorial of great historical nature. The story, based on royal farmans and inscriptions, starts with the construction of the Baland Darwaza on the style of Tughluqian architecture which proved to be a source of great adornment for the city prior to the erection of the Friday Mosque (Jum’a Masjid) by Shams Khan Dandani, the first ruler of the autonomous Muslim – Tak Rajput dynasty of Khanzadas who began their regime in the first decade of the fifteenth century, soon followed the offer of the hand of the Sultan’s daughter Bibi Rasti to the grandson of Shaikh Farid following the grant of the village of Deh near Nagaur, where the princess lies buried under an ordinary roof which the frugal family of her in-laws could provide. The marriage was contracted in the new capital of the Sultan from where Jinaprabha Suri was called by the Sultan for consultaion on some subject of grave philosophical import, namely Daulatabad (erstwhile Deogiri) in the Deccan.17
Shaikh Ahmad Khattu of Khatu
Next we turn to the Maghribi Order (Silsila) of Khatu in the Nagaur region (Khitta) to wind up our account of the Sufi back- ground of Jainism in Northern India. The Maghribi Silisila was brought to Khatu by Baba or Babu Ishaq or Delhi from Morocco in North Africa called ‘Maghrib’ or West just as we are accustomed to use the word Deccan (Dakshina) for the South and Dakkhinis for the Marathas. His adoptive son Ahmad of Delhi, (who was swept away from home by a violent Dark Wind i.e. from Delhi and brought to Didwana in the Nagaur District by a caravan) known as Shaikh Ahmad Khattu (i.e of Khatu) he was a contemporary of the ferocious invader Amir Taimur with whose army he went to Samarkand with the intention of trying to deliver innumerable prisoners Hindus and Muslims, captured from Delhi (and equally massacred). He finally settled down at Sarkhej prior to the foundation of the new Gujarat capital of Ahmadabad. His collection of conversations (malfuz) is a source book relevant to our purpose in the 15th century background of ahimsa and celibacy (brahmacharya) practised by the great saint during his half century stay in Gujarat where the Svetambara Lonka Sah was to rise against the image worship of his orthodox community and to succeed in starting a movement of heterodox ‘Sthanakvasi’ Jainas only to furnish an example to the Taran Taran in the Bundelkhand part of the Malwa Sultanate. Both these critics against orthodox Jainism will be treated in their proper place. I give here the relevant charitra of the centenarian, Ahmad Khattu corresponding to that of a pratima sharawak on the basis of the Persian Miraqat-ul Vasul ilallahi war – Rasul (Urdu translation).
Shaikh Ahmad had a poetic taste turning out verses in Hindi, Persian and Arabic. He was bestowed a melodious voice, for singing and an attentive ear for ‘Sohaila’ song of a woman which entranced him and felled him into the water of the step-well on the verge of which he was sitting in his youth. At the same time no instance is available of his holding a sitting for a regular ‘Sama’ or Sufi Music (Qawwali).
As regards his character, Shaikh Ahmad was popular with non- Muslims but no case has been cited for his relations with Jainism in particular whether in Nagaur or in Gujarat. His attitude in social matters was that of kindness and liberality especially with the poor and indigent classes. None who came to him would return empty handed especially the fair sex. Once in Jaisalmer he gave away half piece of his turban to an old pauper to sell it and make his both ends meet, Shaikh Ahmad gave help to Jogis and Kolis of Gujarat and return-presents to the pampered, some of whom may have been members of the influential class of Jaina aristocracy in Gujarat met with in Persian histories in plenty.
Ahimsa— Now we come to a trait of character common to Jainism and Sufism, namely ahimsa. Non-injury, as practised by the Shaikh, is best demonstrated in case of birds and quadrupeds. Little gauraiya birds would come and sit on his head or knees. His attendants had been instructed to see that crows may not molest the tiny young ones of these winged creatures while the Shaikh himself was observed driving away the crows with his rod. He brought once a wounded kite (a shikar bird) and kept it under his care, supplying it with non- vegetarian diet until it was healed and flew away. Once some body brought a pelican, the feathers of whose wings had been pulled out. The Shaikh paid him for the bird and arranged for the diet of fish until the feathers of its wings had grown when he was released in the forest. A soldier once came with a dog who would not like to go back with his master who could not but leave him there. The animal, faithful by nature, daily performed the duty of watching the threshold of the Shaikh who on his par, assigned daily diet for the animal guard who would escort the daily visitors to their homes, besides guarding the cattle also in village Utelia, the Jagir of the Shaikh. The Mirqat (Book of Conversations) narrates the story of a cow presented by some devotee to the Shaikh who offered it to some other person who was guilty of selling it away to the butcher. Somehow this cow, got released from the butcher’s house, came back crying to the Shaikh’s Khanqah (hospice) followed by the butcher himself who had come running to take away the quadruped which the Shaikh won’t allow. Paying for her to the butcher, he admitted her to his own cattle herd. One day the Shaikh observed a dove grazing in the courtyard of his ‘Jama-at Khana’ (Assembly House) and, taking a fancy for the pigeon- like creature, arranged for scattering grain daily in the same place to which it would come with other companions of its kind to feed on the corn seeds. The Mirqat has it also that the Shaikh would not slaughter the animal of the canonical sacrifice with own hands nor would he bear the sight of the bloody deed. For the sake of the discharge of religious obligation; he preferred to pay the animal price in cash (to the poor?) or Maulana Muhammad Abul Qasim20 would perform the actual deed. (MS pp. 22-23; trans. pp. 89-91).
The Shaikh, a great observer of patience and humility was meekness personified and was never seen to have lost his temper. Being a Sufi, he believed in universal brotherhood (which corresponded with canonical Jainism) and had cordial relations with non-Muslim families (perhaps with the non-mentioned Jainas also) and got the chance for exchange of thought with yogis and Brahmans. A non-believer in untouchability, he accepted the challenge in his youth with the son of a cobbler (chamar) for a wrestling bout with him. The Hindu community (presumably including Jainas) behaved with Sufi saints with respect and esteem and treated the Shaikh himself with affection and hospitality. In his mid life, big and small of both sexes on his way to Hajj pilgrimage in 1389 A.D. e.g. a Hindu lady lodging him in her house during the absence of male members of the family and Rai Madalik of a village spending lavishly for his treatment. At the next stage, his host was a poor woman. The trader (bania) class in particular had close contact with him. (For details vide Mirqat MSS: A.S.B. Calcutta and P.M.S. Library, Ahmedabad; Urdu tr. and ‘Malfuzat Literature’, Dr. Z.A. Desai’s Lecture in English, Khunda Bakhsh Library, Patna).
Jogis whenever they met the Shaikh, showed readiness to teach alchemy, the art of turning ordinary metal into gold but the Shaikh always parried the offer with the words, “For dervish (Muslim sadhu) contentment and lack of worldly desire itself was gold”. (Ibid-53 – 55, 103 – 04, 111, 196-98, 209 tr.)
Verily the unique personality of Shaikh Ahmad Khattu as a non-injuring Sufi, trained by Babu Ishaq20 (d. 1374) was a spiritual force to reckon with during the period between the 14th and 15th centuries which may be called the Age when Indian Sufism, grown to an All India movement in the 14th century, had developed close contact with the Jaina trading community, unnoticed and unsung, except in the mention of such names of Jaina shravaks in the grantha prashastis as Durgah Malla, Darwes (Darwesh) Sekhu21 and Auliya Sah indicative of their familiar close contact with the pirs or saints more of the Chishtiya.22 Order in closest nearness to the India populace as compared to Suhrawardiya (Punjab – Sindh), and Firdausiya (Bihar) Orders and Shattariya (Malwa) or Qadiriya which latter had only recently arrived during the reign of Sikandar Lodhi of Agra. Simultaneously with the Jaina community, we also come across such Sufi oriented names among Rajput children as Shaikha or Shekha aftet ‘Shaikh for a boy which means old man or pir as called in Rajasthan i.e. a saint Shekha which gave the name of Shekhawati to a part of that province or State (now Fathpur – Jhunjhunu and Sikar) and for the matter of that the name of the celebrated Mertiya Rajput poetess girl ‘Miran’, the devotee of Krishna, married in the Sisodiya family of Mewar whose inspiring Bhakti verses are devotedly read, sung and taught in the Northern India Hindi states of today; Miran Shah is the name of a renowned Sufi Saint of the Mughul period, given to the girl by her Mertiya Rajput parents to express their faith on and devotion for a great Sufi mystic.23
Our composite culture of the 20th century is thus partly indebted to the Jaina – Hindu Muslim reapproachment during the period of 1200 – 1800 A.D. to which competent scholars have turned for study during the period after Independence out of necessity for which there is lack of space in this article. So we now turn to the aspect of Jainism called Jaina – Sultanate Relations.
Jaina – Sultanate Relations
With the conquest of Northern India by Muhammad bin Sam alias Shihabuudin Ghori, the first reaction was the migration Digambara of saints and scholars like Ashadhar of Mandalgarh who came to Dhara and settled in Nalchha, the gateway to Mando (not Mandu), built a temple of Neminath and resumed his scholarly activities.
The culmination of the Sufi orientation on Jainism will come when we take up the careers of Lonka Sah in Gujarat (15th century) and Taran Taran in Bundelkhand-Malwa, differing with the orthodox acharyas and denying the trace of image worship in agam literature.
Our composite culture of the 20th century is thus partly indebted to the Jaina-Hindu Muslim reapproachment during the period of 1200-1800 A.D. to which competent shcolars have turned for study during the period after Independence out of necessity for which there is lack of space in this article. So we now turn to the aspect of Jainism called Jaina-Sultanate Relations.
With the conquest of Northern India by Muhammad bin Sam alias Shihabuudin Ghori, the first reaction was the migration Digambara of saints and scholars like Ashadhar of Mandalgarh who came to Dhara and settled in Nalchha, the gateway to Mando (not Mandu), built a temple of Neminath and resumed his scholarly activities.
The culmination of the Sufi orientation on Jainism will come when we take up the careers of Lonka Sah in Gujarat (15th century) and Taran Taran in Bundelkhand-Malwa, differing with the orthodox acharyas and denying the trace of image worship in agam literature.
Migrating from Rajasthan to Malwa, Ashadhara seems to have come at an early age, along with his family first to Dhara during the reign of Vijayavarma, at a great centre of Sanskrit learning where he was called “Kalidasa of the Kaliyuga”. Verily the loss of Rajasthan was the (unexpected) gain of Malwa where the Rajaguru of king Arjunadeva honoured himself as the chief disciple of Ashadhara namely, Digambara Muni Madan Kirti alias Bala-Sarasvati! Ashadhara now decided, for reasons unknown, to shift to Nalchha, another Jaina centre under the Paramara rulers, where he compiled two out of the three works extent today, namely Sagaradharmamrita (1228 A.D.), Anagardharamamrita (1239 A.D.) and Jinayagya Kalpa (1243) which are regarded as monuments of Jaina scholarship.24
As we know from Persian histories, particularly from the Taj-ul Ma-asir of Hasan Nizami, the conquest of Ajmer and Delhi was followed by an easterly horizontal expansion of the Turkish 1218. Empire, when in 1196 A.D., Muhammad bin Sam (Shihabuddin Ghori) led an invasion against a prosperous Jaina centre called Tribhuvanagiri or Tahangarh (near Bayana) (Hirji 572) where we come across the Jaina poet Lakshmana or Lakhu, the author of Jinadatta Charita,25 who had to leave his home town, like Ashadhara (above), and wandering here and there he found refuge with one Shridhara Purwar in his house at Bilrampur (Eta District, Uttar Pradesh) where he made himself comfortable until he again migrated to Raibaddiya (Raibha), the capital of the Chauhan principality now called Rapri on the bank of Jamuna, then ruled by Raja Ahavamalla and there he composed his second book Anuvayarayanapaeeva in 1256 A.D. under the patronage of the Chauhan’s Chief Minister, Krishnaditya of the ‘Lamechu’ gotra family of ancestral Nagar Sethis.
As for the Jaina traders of Tahangarh, who had fled for life and property, they were recalled along with big resourceful merchants from different places by the Turkish Governor, Bahauddin Tughril, appointed by Sultan Muhammad Ghori for the rehabilitation of the deserted place which was in the best interests of both parties, the (new) rulers and the (old) ruled.25 People were invited to come from Khorasan, outside India, and this ancient place, governed by Tughril who led his raids to the east as far as Kalinjar, was once again returned to normal life in the second half of the thirteenth century and the first half of the fourteenth century when many a Jaina Muni and acharya settled down there. It was here that Vinayachandra, the grand-disciple of Udayamuni of the Mathur Sangha and disciple of Bhattarak Balachand Muni composed his ‘Chunari Ras’, sitting in the garden of Raja Ajayapala nephew of Raja Kumarapala and also his ‘Nirjhara Panchami Katharas in the talahti (at the foot) of the Tribhuvana ridge. This shows that at Tahangarh the process of reapproachment had shown satisfactory result as elsewhere in Ajmer and Delhi as we shall see presently.
Let us now scrutinize the pattawalis of Delhi to see if we can get a glimpse of Jaina activities in the erstwhile Tomara capital of Delhi, now the Metropolis of the Turkish Empire spreading horizontally to Bengal in the East through the Ganga-Jamuna valley. Rajavalis and genealogies recently come to light are supported by the unique Guruvavali of Kharataragachchha of 1248 A.D., according to which Jina Chandra Suri of the Kharataragachchha, disciple of Jinadatta Suri was welcomed in a village, near Delhi, not only by the Shravaka populace of the Jaina community but the reigning king, Raja Madanpala Tomara, received him along with his officials with military honour (1166). After hearing the sermon of the great Suri, Madanpala requested him to grace his capital Dhilli. The function of the Suri’s entry into the City was celebrated with great eclat, the ruler himself walking in the course of the grand reception, hand in hand with the saint. The Suriji accepted the desire of the king to hold his chaturmas (rainy camp) there and also his demise took place there itself. His stupa is extant today in the vicinity of the Qutb Minar (Tower of Victory) where the Sufi saint, Qutb Sahib of the Minar and Qawwali fame too lies buried in the village of Mehrauli close by. The stupa is a place of pilgrimage for the last hundreds of years.26
Such was the Jaina background in Dhilli when, only three decades later, it was given to Aibak to occupy the Tomara capital, after the conquest of Ajmer, and later make it the headquarters of his own Empire, shifted from Ghazni, after the death of Sultan Muhammad Ghori (1206). Aibak, who was now the Sultan of the Delhi Empire, died after four years (1210) to be succeeded by Iltutmish in whose reign Delhi developed into a real Metropolis of an Empire which was destined to cover almost the entire expanse of a sub-continent, for the first time after the lapse of one millennium and a half since the reign of a great supporter of ahimsa, in theory and practice whose father, Chandragupta was the royal companion of Bahubali to the South. The spiritual flag of ‘non-injury’ was to be kept aloft by the two-fold effort of the Suris on one hand and the Sufis on the other-a right at least for three centuries, 13th to 15th which may be called the Golden Age of Jaino-Sufi Movement.
Sultan Shamsuddin, a great supporter of Sufism, whether Suhrawardiya or Chishtiya, in spite of his raids against the Rajputs, could not make much headway against them but he died after leaving the Empire on strong foundations which were further consolidated by Ghayasuddin Balban who was averse to campaigning against the Rajputs thanks to the danger of the Changez Khani Mughuls (Mongols) whose ferocious behaviour in Central Asia was driving many a displaced ruling Chief to his protection in Delhi. A whole century passed between Muhammad Ghori and Sultan Kaiqubad when before the advent of ‘Khilchi Imperialism’ when new conquests to round up, the Empire and a policy of toleration, proselytization, fraternization employment and promotion to the highest posts in the Turkish heirachy towards the antyaja class of untouchables27 in Indian society, went hand in hand. Among Sufis, it was the Age of Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya and Hazrat Amir Khusrau, the Poet Laureate whose patriotism (desh-bhakti) has been best expressed in his well-know and much-quoted hemstitch in which he calls himself a ‘Hindustan-i Turk’ and gives preference to ‘Hindvi’ against Persian which was his spoken and written language in which he excelled many a poet of Iran and Turan.28 As for the Rajput adversaries of Alauddin, the great resister, Hammira Chauhan of Ranthambhor, not only inspired Jaina-Hindu generations by his sustained effort not only to protect his hearth and home but also his honour by refusing to give his daughter to wife except on his dead body only to earn the popular epithet of ‘Hathi’ (Obstinate) by declining to surrender his Muhammadan refugees who had rebelled against Alexander II, as the Khilchi emperor styled himself. No wonder, therefore, that Nayachandra Suri, giving up the old themes for his versifying talent, adopted the ‘national hero’ of Ranthambhor for his celebrated ‘Hammira Mahakavya “to purify the mind of the Ruling Community by the delineation of Hammiradeva’s character as far superior to that of Rajas who had gone before him.” Alauddin and Hammira, Nizamuddin Auliya and Amir Khusrau and after the lapse of a century: Nayachandra and Virama Tomara are the representatives of the medieval period, each in his own sphere of which the latter twins we shall take up in the section on Gwalior Jainism. Here we start with the Khilchi campaign against Gujarat (129) under Alap Khan resulting in the ouster of the unpopular, if not hated, Karna Ghelo (the Mad) the last Vaghela potentate of Gujarat.
Gujarat, untouched by the arms of Mahmud Ghaznavi, had been sought to be conquered by Muhammad Ghori unsuccessfully. This prize among the Rajput States, was the richest among them and Alauddin may have started his career of conquest for its riches which he coveted of having squandered away as a parricide, the fabulous riches of Devagiri (Deccan) which he had acquired as a Prince Governor of Kara before getting his aged uncle murdered on the waters of the Ganga between Kara and Manikpur, mid-stream. His achievements have been commendably described in the Nabhinandana-Jinoddhara Prabandha composed in V. 1393 (1330)A.D.)
Alauddin Khilchi is known, perhaps for the first time among Delhi Sultans, to have employed Jaina talent of Gujarat for administrative purposes for example Thakkur Pheru who was his Mint Master the celebrated author of Dravya Pariksha a book on mineralogy and Malik Kafur, the Parwari slave who rose to be his ‘Malik Naib’ or Vicegerent and Conqueror of the Deccan, notwithstanding the Chanakyalike machinations of the tantrik Brahmana of Varanasi, namely Raghavachetana, an anti-Jaina visitor to the court of Alauddin and also of Muhammad Tughluq, for the matter of that. This trend of a campaigner and conqueror like Alauddin towards the Jaina capitalists, must have been prompted by his need of capital for the maintenance of his Standing Army which was partly met by his economic measures. Let us now, therefore turn to the events following this conquest of Jaina-dominated Gujarat which first brought the Jaina laity into close and intimate contact with the new ruling authorities in Anhilawara-Pattan as well as Delhi.
The story starts with the damages done to a Jaina image in 1311, repaired by Samar Singh, an Oswal Svetambara of Pattan after his contact with Alauddin. Samar Singh led a sangha also from Pattan to Sorath escorted by Jamadars of Turkish authorities and on return reception. Thus things had changed in the second decade after the Khilchi conquest. But when damage was done to the Shatrunjay temple of Palitana in 1313 the permission of Alap Khan, the Governor of Gujarat was not only given readily but it was accompanied by a handsome donation-casket of jewels with farman from him. Samar Singh on his part, did the work of repairs with great pomp and ceremony, long and lavish in 1315.
Jaina Srimala mechants had spread almost all over North India. They led successfully a huge congregation (sangha) of pilgrims tarvelling with as many as three hundred carts to a distant temple at Phalaudi in Marwar (1314). As to Digambaras, besides Mahasena from the South whose profound learning and asceticism had impressed him immensely, Alauddin had Purnchandra close to him and others too.
Samar Singh was called by Qutbuddin Mubarak Khilchi to Delhi and made his vyavahari (banker). In 1318, Thakkur Achala Singh of Nagaur secured a firman from Q. Mubarak and organised a sangha yatra to Hastinapur, Kanyanayana, Mathura etc. under the leadership of Jinachandra Suri (1248-1319) joined by Pheru also. When they reached Tilpat near Delhi an acharya of the rival Drammakapuriya sect complained to the Sultan that Jinachandra was using a parasol and a golden throne (exclusive privilege of the Sultan). The Sultan summoned the Suri found no substance in the complaint ordered the imprisonment of the rival complainant. Jinachandra, however, pleading with the authorities, secured his release with the help of Pheru. The next ruler, Ghayasuddin Tughluq treated Samar Singh as his ‘son’ an deputed him to Telangana (Andhra Pradesh) where his successor, Muhammad Tughluq, calling him ‘brother’ made him Governor of Telangana. In this capacity, Samar Singh proved very helpful to local Hindus, prevailing upon both the Tughluq Sultans to release hundreds of prisoners of war including Vira Ballala, who obtained permission to return home as a ruler of Pandyadesha after his pretty long detention. Samar Singh is credited with the building of many Jaina temples in Urangalapura (now Warangal), the capital of Telugudesha. He is supposed to have breathed his last sometime before 1337A.D. Samar Singh was entitled by the Sultan as Raja sansathapanacharya for his intercession on behalf of Vira Bhalla. Kakka Suri composed his Nabhinand Jinnoddhara prabhandha in V. 1393 (1336 A.D.) of which the chief topic is the installation of the Jaina Tirthankara, Adinatha by Samar Singh.
Chilla of the Sufis and Penance
Chilla of the Sufis is equivalent to the Christian Lent (period of fasting and penitence) for forty days. (Chilla=40 days) during which they retreat either to a cell or to a mosque or retire unto themselves fasting and praying (besides canonical prayers called salat or namaz), reciting the Quran or invocations or counting beads in a rosary.
A latter day Sufi of the Chishti Order, would not only take vegetarian diet during the period of Chilla but abstain from all animal food (tark-i haiwanat) like milk, curd, skimmed milk, butter ghee, eggs etc. so much so that salt from the Sambhar lake, banned for him, will have to be replaced by the Lahori salt, called Sendha namak. The penitent undergoing the fast (Chilla-kash) would see to it that the fuel, wooden or dung, used for preparing his breakfast during the period should not be worm-eaten so as to avoid killing tiny moths or insects.
Shaikh Usman Haruni, the preceptor of Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti of Ajmer, is said to have discouraged meat-eating and the Khwaja’s own junior disciple, Sufi Hameeduddin Nagauri alias Peer Tarikeen, as recorded in his malfuzat (sayings), had willed that in case anybody offered food for the recompense of his soul after his death, it should not be meat. This self-denial led to the banning of meat during the ‘urs’ anniversary of the saint which is observed till today.
The beliefs, teachings and practices of the Indo-Muslims mystics, during the golden age of the thirteenth-fourteenth century may be identified as follows with special reference to the Chistis :
(1) Pure Monotheism unmixed with the deification of Allah’s creatures – as old as the Rigveda.
(2) Faith in His Holiness Prophet Muhammad as the last Messenger of God (not an Avatar) and acknowledgement of all Prophets before him.
(3) Absolute obedience to the Shaikh or Pir (preceptor).
(4) Embracing poverty, offering charity to the poor and needy and working for public welfare without distinction (Khidmat-i Khalq).
(5) Avoidance of politics, having nothing to do with the ruling class except when ordered to do something not opposed to the sacred law (shariat); accepting neither jagir nor official post.
(6) Organization through ‘Khanqah’ (hospice).
(7) Preaching and writing through the spoken language – Hindavi, Rajasthani, Hindi Punjabi or Sindhi etc.
(8) Religious toleration of all faiths, Jainism or Hinduism.
(9) Sama or qauwali (Sufi music) in praise of Allah, the Divine Beloved.
Classical example of Penance during the period of Chilla performed by Shaikh Ahmad Khattu of the fourteenth Century, in Khatu (Nagaur), sometime after the demise of his preceptor and adoptive father, Babu Ishaq of the Maghribi Silsila is furnished by the Book of his Malfuzat (Conversations). “During this period of ‘qurantine’, Shaikh Ahmad’s entire possession was forty pieces of dried ‘Khurma’ (date palm) and a pitcherful of water. After the fortieth day fell the Eid day (776-1374) when the Governor or the Deputy Governor of Khatu (presumably Malik Qutbuddin Najm) broke open the door of his room, wrapped the ‘semi-alive’ Shaikh with ready-ginned cotton to be able to carry him to the Eidgah mosque for prayers (namaz) in this precarious condition when, after the namaz, people rushed to him for shake-hand (musafiha) so much so that the Shaikh was hard put to it to save himself from being mobbed and reach back home unhurt.” (Nagaur through the Ages, pp 133-34 – printed copy unpublished).
From a distinguished Jaina householder we switch on to a great Svetambara monk, again from Gujarat, the centre of Jaina activities during this period and also the centre of gravity for the Turkish Sultans. Both the shravakas and the sadhus jointly worked in the interests of Jainism and its glory. We have traced the pattawali of the Kharataras of the Svetambara sampradaya in Gujarat, Rajasthan up to Jinapati Suri (d. 1277 = 1220 A.D.) in the first section of this article beginning from Jineshwara Suri, the first Kharatara, to the founder of the vidhimarga, Abhayadeva Suri “(One of the greatest scholars of the Jina world)” Jinavallabha (d. 1169 = 1112 A.D.) and Jinadatta, Suri, alias Dadaji, “a great organiser”, until the death of Jinapati Suri (d. 1277 = 1220 A.D.) during the reign of Sultan Iltutmish. Jinapala wrote the Kharataragachchha pattavali which is the source of our knowldege for the line of succession of these saints up to the year of grace, c. 1336.
Alauddin Khilchi was a thorough despotic monarch, not interested in religious matters and we hear little or nothing about the condition of Jainism during his reign except that there was harldy any outstanding Digambara acharya in North India while the guile of the Brahmana Ragho Chetan who had great influence on the Sultan, against the naked Jaina saints, led to instigation against them. The Digambara Jainas, it is said ran to South India and induced Acharya Mahasena to come over to Delhi and counter the sinister hostility of the non-Jaina adversary which he did to come over to Delhi and counter the sinister hostility of the non-Jaina adversary which he did through religious discussion to the satisfaction of Alauddin who was much impressed by the profound learning and asceticism of Mahasena. Alauddin had a Digambara Jaina friend in Purnachandra Agarwal of Delhi who performed the pilgrimage of Girnar, being the Nagar Seth of the Sultan. Madhava Sen and Prabha Chandra, founders of Kashtha Sangh and Nandi Sangh respectively are said to have been honoured by Alauddin. In other words Delhi had maintained its identity as a Digambara centre since the days of the Tomara rulers in the pre-Turkish age. The nudity of the Jaina saints of the Digambaras, which had specially attracted the attention of the Turkish rulers, had been diluted, it is said, by the weakening doctrine of ‘apawad’ against ‘utsarga’, brought into practice first by Basanta Kirti, who had allowed himself to enter the harem of Sultan Muhammad Ghori, thanks to the curiosity shown by his begum for the “naked fakir,” by the use, for the first time, of matted drapery to cover his nakedness with a view to ward off the emergency.
So much for the Digambaras of Delhi. The Svetambaras of Gujarat, however, left them behind by their forward policy with regard to their relations with the Turkish rulers as we have seen in the case of Samar Singh of Pattan. Now it was the turn of Jinaprabhasuri to regale the Sultans by his song verses and ingratiate himself into their good books when, succeeding to the patta of Jinasinhasuri, he made his appearance as a wandering saint in the Delhi region (1284 A.D.) and started his career of composing a series of stotras (panegyrics) and other kavyas with his extraordinary erudition and poetic talent demonstrated through Sanskrit, Prakrit, spoken dialect and even Persian as seen in the case of the Persian hymn quoted by us earlier. In 1319 A.D. he was observed participating in a sangha started by Devaraja of Delhi. He had amused the romantic Emperor, Qutbuddin Khilchi to such an extent that the young Sultan, enamoured by (his charming verses) called him every now and then to his Court. But the royal offerings of village and/or elephant etc. was turned down by the Suri. It is also a recorded fact that Samar Singh had performed his pilgrimage to Mathura and Hastinapur with the sangha as well as Jinaprabhasuri under royal firman.
Contacts with Muhammad Tughluq
In 1328, when Suriji was tarrying in Shahpura (Delhi), the philosopher – Sultan Muhammad Tughluq when he enquired about him in his Learned Assembly and he was called “the most distinguished divine” by the astronomer, Dharadhara, the Suri was invited to the royal court honourably. Suriji met the Sultan in the evening. The Sultan, seating the literator very close to him and after exchange of enquiry about welfare and returning blessings, private conversation lasted till midnight !
At this late hour in the night, the Suri could not but stay there. The Sultan called the Suri to him early in the morning again and offered one thousand cows, a lump sum, excellent garden, a hundred garments, a hundred blankets and (scents like) agar, sandal and camphor etc. which he declined to accept but out of regard for the honour of the Emperor, he appropriated a small quantity of ordinary things like blankets cum clothes.
The Emperor, after convening a debate – assembly with scholars from many countries mounted Jinaprabhasuri on a stately elephant29 and Jinadevasuri, his disciple on another, equally superior, with the accompaniment of varied royal muscial instruments and sent both of them to the poshadhshala. The bards were singing eulogies (all the way long) with officials of high rank along with subjects of the four varnas keeping company. The sangha (procession), animated with great happiness, resounded the heaven with the sound of victory (Jayadhwani). The shravakas performed the entry celebration (pravesh-mahotsava) with eclat and gave to mendicants plentiful charity.
Now arose the question of sangha escort and guarding of tirthas to be broached with the Sultan. The familiarity with them after this introductory visit of the Suri based on his learning, was on the increase day by day. The friman came in due course for the protection of Svetambara Order, copies of which were despatched to the four quarters.’ This firman was followed by another for the protection of places of pilgrimage whose copies were like wise supplied to the tirthas in question – Satrunjaya, Girnar, Phalabadhi (Phalaudhi) etc.
On another occasion in the same year (1328 A.D.), the Emperor released many prisoners from captivity on the teachings of Suriji. A cruel officer of the ‘Alavi’ family in Hansi had detained sadhus in prison, broken the stone image of Parshvanatha of Kanyanayana30 and loading another intact “miraculous” sculpture of Mahavira, established there by Jinapati Suri as early as 1176 A.D., brought it to Delhi at a time when the Emperor was away in Deogiri (Daulatabad). So he deposited the sculpture in the Shahi Treasury of Tughluqabad where it remained in Turkish custody for fifteen months.
The Suri Maharaj came to the Royal Court on a rainy day with feet soiled with mud rainy day. The Sultan got his feet wiped with a costly piece of cloth.31 Out came the saintly blessing “in verse” offhand which were explained to the Emperor. These poetic blessings, so showered extempore on the Sultan, moved his heart to a marvelous extent. Taking advantage of the opportunity, and explaining to him the story of the Mahavira image, the saint requested him to restore the sculputre to the Jaina Samaja which the Emperor (readily) accepted. Not only that. As the Vidhi marga-prapa would have us believe, the Sultan got the image fetched to the Raj-Sabha on the shoulders of the leading Maliks for his ‘darshan’ and entrusted it to the Suri. The Jaina sangha, regaled by the recovery of the sculpture, collectively with eclat, got it mounted on a sukhasana (palanquin) and consecrated it in the Jaina temple of Malik Tajuddin Serai.32
The Sultan, providing all kinds of facilities for the movements of Suriji who, permitting Jinadeva Suri (his disciple) to tarry in Delhi with foruteen sadhus, himslef proceeded to Deogiri where the local sangha performed the praveshotasava (entry celebration). From Deogiri he went to Pratishthanapur (Paithan) and returned (1330 A.D). Showing the Shahi firman in original), the Suri protected those temples which may have been in danger of being harmed at the juncture when the entire Muhammadan population of Tughluqian Delhi had been ordered by the experimentalist imperial despot to be transported to Deogiri, his new capital which he renamed Daulatabad (City of Good Fortune). So the Suri, not only took the precaution in defence, but stayed there for three long years, subjecting to frustration such pre-eminent (religious) disputants who dared to challenge him for debate. Not only that. He taught original Jaina Shastras to the Jainas there.
As for Delhi, Jinadeva Suri was not sitting idle. He met the Emperor in the imperial cantonment (Shahi Chhaoni) who, showing him all honour, assigned a serai (mansion) for the residence of the Jaina Sangha, which was named, “Sultan Sarai’ where the Emperor caused the construction of paushadha shala and Jaina temple and permitted four hundred shravakas to populate it. The above Mahavira image of Kanyanayana was now consecrated here and both Shvetambars and Digambaras and others started the worship of this idol thanks to the liberal and tolerant policy of Muhammad Tughluq amounting to Jaina patronage in his Metropolis.
Once, in the course of participation in an intellectual gathering in his Court with the literati the Sultan was confronted with some doubt on same point pertaining to philosophical idelology not removable by the divines present in the assembly. He, all of a sudden, remembered Jinaprabhasuri. “If that Suri were present in the Raj-Sabha today”, said he, “our doubt may have been resolved. Verily his learning is unfathomable.” Tajul Mulk, who had arrived from Daulatabad, bending his head in kurnish33 submitted that, “that saint presently is in Daulatabad but the climate of that place does not suit him and he has become much emaciated.” Hearing this, His Majesty ordered that Malik to immediately go to the Secretariat, get a firman written out and sent, along with provisions, to enable the acharya to reach Delhi from Deogiri. The firman reached the Diwan of Daulatabad (Qutlugh Khan), and was shown to the Suri by the Kotwal. The Suri got ready to go within a week or ten days and started from there on an auspicious day, along with sangha and, passing through many places, reached the Allavapur fortlice where the mlechchhas (Turks) snatched many an article of the accompanying party, creating disturbance. The news of the unhappy incident reached Jinadevasuri in Delhi who communicated it to the Emperor who sent a firman to the local officers and all looted property was restored to the owners. After a stay of one and a half month there, the journey was resumed. As soon as the saint reached Siroha,34 he was honoured with the offerings of ten clothes sent by the Emperor.
Reaching Delhi, the Suri visited the royal court along with the muni-mandala (assemblage of monks) and shravaka–sangha (association of householders). The emperor, enquiring about his welfare, kissed his hand35 and placed his own on his heart. With great celebration, he caused the Suri to reach the paushadha shala of the Sultan with Hindu rajas and preeminent gentlemen (including Malik Dinar) honourably, musical instruments playing all the time. His entry Jubilee (Praveshotasava) was highly gladsome and worth seeing.
Next the sangha celebrated the recital of the Paryushana Kalpa36 by the Suriji to which they listened with devotion. As the sangha was filled with merriment on the arrival of the Suri, he caused the Shravakas detained in government prison, to be delivered from fines of lakhs of rupees and also others, leading to restoration of respectability after the disfavour incurred. Suriji would constantly visit the Raja Sabha and win victory against many a disputant in religion. In 1332 he had completed two books including the celebrated Vividhatirtha kalpa.
In the month of Phalguna, on the arrival of the Emperor’s mother, ‘Makhaduma-i Jahan (Queen-mother) from Deogiri the Emperor turned to her reception attended by quadripartite (chaturangi) army accompanied by the Suri Maharaj and, meeting her at the place, Badthun,37 he distributed copious gifts to all concerned : royal robes (Khil-at) to cheif officers and clothes etc. to Suriji (on return to Delhi) to honour them. With administrative cooperation and with royal permission, the Suri consecrated an idol under the shade of a saiban (tent mandap) gifted by the Emperor. Five disciples were granted initiation (diksha) with religious bounty. Similarly he established ceremoniously newly carved thirteen arhant idols with abundant bounties.
As Sultan Sarai was sufficiently distant, the Suri always experienced difficulty in coming. So the Sultan presented the new sarai of exquisite mansions situated near his palace naming it as ‘’Bhattarak Sarai’. Here His Majesty built a temple of Mahavira and a paushadhashala and the Suri celebrated his entry into the paushadha shala in the month of asharha, 1332 A.D. attended with sufficient charity.
The Sultan marched to the East for conquest with military in the month of Magh, taking Suriji along with him. In places in the way, prisoners were emancipated and the tirtha of Mathura was got opened for pilgrmage. As the Suri was travelling on foot; the Emperor turned him back from Agra to Delhi, and he arrived at Delhi with a firman for Hastinapur. He reached Delhi and a ‘four-fold’ sangha was brought out after performing the tilakototasava i.e. marking of the tilaka on the sanghapati (leader of the sangha) followed by celebrations from place to place. The tirtha was started afresh and images consecrated. The pilgrimage was narrated by the Suri himself in the ‘Hastinapur Tirthakalpa’. On return from Hastinapur, the Suri consecrated the Mahavira idol of Kanyanayana with celebration in the Jaina temple built by the Emperor in Bhattarak Sarai (above).
The Sultan, on his part, returned from digavijaya to Delhi when celebrations were held in Jaina Mandir and the upashrayas; the ever increasing closeness with the Sultan, grew more and more intimate with the result that the trouble of the Digambara-Svetambara, in fact that of all Jaina sanghas and tirthas was removed through royal firmans, thanks to the influence wielded by the Suriji.
Miracles of Suriji
Last but not the least, are the miracle of Jinaprabhasuri recorded in Jaina works, Firstly, when Suriji on his arrival in Delhi, was staying in Shahpura (1328) once on the occasion of his going out to ease the call of nature, the vulgar (anaryas) dishonoured him by hurling stones at his where upon which (Sultan) Muhammad Shah (Tughluq) called him to his side. Secondly, the Emperor informed the Suri once that his dear mother (the Queen mother entitled makhduma-i Jahan i.e. Mistress of the World), was shadowed by some supernatural being so that she could not heary clothes to put on her body; “Suriji may be pleased to ward off the ailment” which he did to the healthfulness of the royal lady. Thirdly, when the Chanakyana (Machiavellian) tantric Brahmana, Raghavachetana of Varanasi came to Delhi, he stole the Royal Sign Manual of the Sultan and attributed the theft to the Suriji. (Nothing happened). Fourthly, A “Qalandar – Mulla’ (so-called) had come from Khorasan to the Raja Sabha and had a confrontational argumentation with the Suri; (was discomfited). Fifthly, the Suri was endowed with a wonderful faculty of foretelling future events. Sixthly, on one occasion he caused a bat tree to walk with him.
Jinaprabha Suri rendered remarkable service to Jaina literature. The number of his works is supposed to be twenty-seven while his stotras are said to have numbered seventy-threes want of space prevents us to name them.
Criticism and Estimate
Of the learned men in Delhi in the twenties of the fourteenth century, Muhammad bin Tughluq, the Emperor and Jinaprabhasuri, the Head (patta – dhara) of the vidhi–margi Kharatar-gachchha, each occupied the highest position in his own realm of activities. If the Sultan had a hand in philosophical pursuits in addition to wielding the sceptre of sovereignty as a despot, the Suri acharya too was instrumental in winning temporal advantage to promote the cause Jaina idolatry under the rule of aliens of monotheistic persuasion who had only lately shown their authoritarian predilection towards the Capitalist class of a minority among their subjects in their own politico-economic interests, maintaining as they did, a vast standing army for conquering and annexing big slashes of a sub-continent to round up their territorial possession but hard put to it to retain their hold as a compact whole from distant Delhi in the north. These two representatives of their own class were to come together to achieve a result beneficial to both parties. And the Emperor was the one who took the initiative in the matter. In the words of a modern authority, “Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq (1325-51) was an erudite literator of his times, well up in all the branches of time – honoured learning. His fertile mind invented ever new schemes whose utility can not be denied but his undue haste in the practical application of those schemes left different sections of society in misunderstanding which engendered opposition leading to the disagreement of the common people. Hindustan is as big as a continent and the hold of the Central Government on the recently conquered Deccan was precarious, a phenomenun which he attributed to the paucity of Muslim population there on which to fall on in times of emergency. This handicap had been detrimental to the best interests of his Khilji forerunners. For a strong political organization in South India, he felt the need of spreading Islamic civilization and culture there with a view to increase the Muslim population through the missionary activities of the Sufis…
“The intention of the Sultan was correct but his demand was mistaken. He was a believer38 in the doctrine that din (religion) and mulk (dominion) were twins (ad Din wal Mulk Tuwaamaan) on the basis of which he would like the Sufis to proceed to the four corners of the country in obedience to his orders. This clashed with the fundamental doctrine of the mystic School of the Sufis who, on no account were agreeable to leave the place where their preceptor had seated them. They opposed the endeavour of the Sultan tooth and nail with result that Muhammad bin Tughluq, finding himself at war with the (Sufi) saintly class brought his royal influence to bear upon them with great behavioural hardihood.
“This tug of war was still going on when he ordered that the entire Muslim population of Delhi should migrate to Deogir. This order rendered the Shaikhs helpless and they had to leave Delhi most reluctantly – Delhi which had become the heart of the Chishtiya Silsila, thanks to the efforts of the late lamented Nizamuddin Auliya… Some younger elements (like the grandson and successor of Sufi Hameeduddin Nagauri namely Shaikh Farid-ud Din Chakparran) succumbed to government pressure and accepted, besides other munificent bounties, the marriage proposal of the Sultan’s daughter Bibi Rasti with his grandson Fathulla (1329) for the celebration of which the saint of Nagaur reached Daulatabad in 1330 when the Queen and Queen Mother were present in Daulatabad and the Sultan himself had to stay in Delhi for the suppression of the tumult in Multan.
Thus the contact of the Sultan with the Sufi of Nagaur and the Suri of Gujarat coincides in 1328 when Jinaprabhasuri first appeared in the Imperial Raj Sabha followed by the journey to Deogiri and Deogiri to Paithan and back (1329-30) staying there for three years (1329-32) until he was called by the Emperor to solve his philosophical problem which had perplexed him. This was the period when, at the instance of the Makhduma… Jahan (Queen Mother), Qiwam Burhan, entitled Ulugh Qutlugh Khan, the Prime Minister’s reminder to the Shaikh of Nagaur of expedite his journey to Daulatabad and His Majesty firman to the Governor, Sharfuddin Muhammad Rasheed to give all facilities to “Malik-ul Mashaikh” Fariduddin Nagauri on his return journey (1331) (after the marriage), these events coincide with the stay of the Suri in Deogiri (1329-32) until on the arrival of the Queen mother, the Emperor is seen, accompanied by the great Suri, to receive the royal lady. This constant companionship with the Sultan stood the Suri in good stead in earning the cooperation and permission of officers and the Sultan respectively for the consecration of idols, old and new, followed by a gift of Mahavira temple and paushadhashala in the Bhattaraka Sarai offered by the ruler-patron himself. What we want to arrive at in addition to the above, is that the last years in the long life of the last great Sufi of Nagaur (1329-33) and those of the last great Suri of Gujarat are coterminous with each other and there is every likelihood of their mutual contact in Delhi and/or Deogiri and again in Delhi, not with standing the non-mention of this interesting event by Persian as well as Jaina chroniclers which they seem to have missed.
The parallelism between the activities of Samar Singh, the Shravaka and Jinaprabha, the Suri first meets our eye as a good omen for the progress of Jaina Church under Turkish auspices during the reign of Qutbuddin Mubarak Khilji when a series of sanghas were started by Jainas of both denominations. Soon the erudition and poetic talent of the forward looking linguist in Sanskrit, Prakrit, deshi and Persian for the matter of that, charmed the amateur in the case of the Khilchi (Q. Mubarak) as well as the specialist in the Tughluq’s case, especially the verses rehearsed extempore by the Suri to bless the latter. The very first exchange of thought between the saint and the ruler whom his courtier historians calls, in his Tarikh-i Firuzshahi a friend, philosopher and guide of free thinkers of many counties caused him to burn midnight oil thanks to the extra ordinary arguments of the Jaina monk which appealed to the rationalistic mind of the Emperor followed by entertainment of the Suri, kissing of his hands, wiping of his muddy feet and his elephant mount in so far as the Suri’s own self was concerned. As to the Jaina samaj, firmans for escorting Jaina sanghas and guarding tirthas and release of prisoners in official custody followed so much so indeed that image worship was not only tolerated by a non-idolatrous monarch but patronized and even encouraged. From Malik Tajuddin Sarai to Sultan Sarai and again to Bhattark Sarai was a commendable progress for Jainism both in respect of temples built and images carved and consecrated with teaching of shravakas, disputations with adversaries and initiation of disciples going on side by side besides literary productions in a profuse and prolific manner. Verily the handicaps of the Jaina minority, both Svetambara and Digambara, were removed and difficulties solved for the first time as these were not done before during the period of a century and a half of the alien Turkish rule. This was no mean achievement for Jinaprabha Suri in which Muhammad bin Tughluq played his unreserved part. As to miracles, that is a proof positive of the saintliness of the Jaina monk and his self denial on the occasion of royal imperial offerings laid before him by the munificent generosity of the Emperor amounting to extravagance, a self- denial which reminds us of the renunciatory behaviour of the Sultan-ut Tarikeen of Nagaur in the previous century. As for Muhammad Tughluq, a mixture of opposites as he was, we find him a completely changed man in respect of his treatment with the great Svetambara, in contradistinction with his molestation of Shaikh Naseeruddin Awadhi, the Lamp of Delhi (Chiragh-i Dhilli) who had in disgust to will that the relics of his great Master the late Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya, may be buried, along with his own corpse after his death a will which was tantamount to the winding up of the All India Chishtiya Order as a Central organisation !
A successional genealogy of Jinaprabhasuri’s disciples has come down to us. No Suri of his line, after Jinadevasuri seems to have been endowed with the strength to face the tumults of the Age of Later Tughluqs after Firuz Shah and the period of the post-Taimur anarchy except Jinahans Suri, who is said to have regaled Sikandar Lodhi, a difficult monarch to tackle.
The penegyrical songs of Jinaprabhasuri, which had charmed potentates like Q. Mubarak Khilchi and Muhammad Tughluq are a prized legacy to give us an idea of the dialectal vehicle used by the great poet-saint in the 14th century for the accomplishment of his life’s mission.39
One debatable conlcusion that may be drawn from the extravagant concessive treatment brought to bear by Sultan Muhammad Tughluq on the Jaina community that His Majesty was indebted financially to the Jaina financiers for his hastly half baked, self-willed exorbitant enterprises of transportation of Muslim population to Deogir and back at his own expense, his issue and subsequent withdrawal of the token currency involving payment on a large scale to the forfeit minters and fabricating coiners and the impossible mad scheme of conquest of China through Himachal Pradesh leading to the loss of lives of the entire invading forces ! The Jaina sources, available on the subject, have been ignored so far to the unmindfulness of our College and University teachers.
Firuz Shah Tughluq
The role of Firuz Shah Tughluq, son of a Rajput mother and husband of a Rajput wife, in connection with his Jaina subjects may be examined before we pass on to the next section of this article which deals with the culmination of the Sufi influence on a section of the Jaina population of Gujarat and Malwa-Chanderi among Swetambaras and Digambaras respectively who abstained from idol worship thanks to the teachings of neologistic saints like Lonka Sah and Taran Taran. The Age of Firuz Shah also witnessed the new phenomenun of Rajput conversions to Islam in large areas among Taks (rulers of Gujarat and Nagaur), Kheechi Chauhans of Fatehpur-Jhunjhunun, Meos of Mewat called Khanzadas and Mohil Chauhans of Mohilwati (Ladnun) all sorrounding Central Rajasthan where Nagaur, the military capital of the erstwhile Chauhan dynasty of Sambhar was the first to be visited and occupied as their home town by saints like Hameeduddin Nagauri (13th century) simultaneously with the organization of the Chishtiya Silsila by its founder, the great Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, Delhi and Nagaur.40
The first thing that draws our attention in the reign of Firuz Shah, is that like, Basant Kirti in Ghazni, Firuz Shah, already a believer in the sainthood of Sufis like Maghribi Shah and Shri Ahmed Khattu, had invited a Digambara monk, duly draped, to his harem for statisfying the curiosity of the royal ladies about the nudity of the unclothed saints, adopting the doctrine of ‘apwad’which in due course had been adopted by his followers and the sect of Bhattarakas, with their clothed monks, had come into existence in the thirteenth century of Christian era being the first century of Turkish rule which gave a fillip to the trend of innovation among the Digambaras. The Jaina poet, Ratnakhara was also honoured by Firuz Shah who had invited many Brahmanas and Jaina ‘Seoras’ to decipher Pali inscription on the pillar of Asoka Maurya which he had got removed of Firozabad- Delhi from the village of Khizrabad. He is said to have honoured Prabha Chandra and Ratnashekhar Suri.
We close this section with the interesting phenomenum that the set-back suffered by the Jain dharma during the rule of alien Turks was nothing as compared to that of Hindus, thanks to the foresighted policy of cultivating good relations with Khilchis, Tughluqs and others adopted by the sagacious Jainacharyas. In the words of Calcutta speech of the archaeologist scholar, Muni Jinavijayaji, “A single four hundred year old Hindu temple in Gujarat, is a desideratum while Jaina temples, thousand (or) eight hundred year old are preserved in a very large number. And while ancient manuscripts written on palm-leaves etc., a thousand year old, will be found in Jaina bhandaras, not a single ancient transcript is available in a non-Jaina collection. Grave consideration of this fact that can not but reveal the secret as to the great service. Jaina munis and shravakas have rendered for the protection and progress of their dharma……. Thousands of images were carved, hundred of temples were constructed, thousands of books were compiled and new ones got written; big sanghas for pilgrimage were taken out without let or hindrance acquiring firmans from the same Mussalman Emperors; their own religious celebrations were advanced, that is to stay a great development (of dharma) was achieved ……”. [J.S. Bhaskar XV, I (25-31)]. The joint effort of Jinaprabhasuri and Muhammad Tughluq in the promotion of Jaina cause, was a lamp-post, so to say, for those who came afterwards.
Reaction and Dispute against image worship in Jainism
Image worship, untraceable from Lord Mahavira, had flourished for a millennium since the 6th century A.D. before it was called in question in a State in Western India which had been the hub of Svetambara Jainism for two hundred and fifty years, now ruled by a Muslim Rajput provincial dynasty after the disintegration of Tughluq Empire of Delhi begun since the death of Muhammad bin Tughluq. As far as the Sufi Movement is concerned, this was the Age of Sh.
Nagauri, a Chishti and Shaikh Ahmad Khattu, a Maghribi saint, both wielding considerable influence equally with the rulers and their subjects. During a century long period of 1350-1450 both Rajasthan (Nagaur) and the Ganga Jamuna valley (Varanasi)41 had thrown up a movement, led by local Rajput and Brahmana saints respectively among the Hindus, which propogated the Nirguna faith in one God (Brahma) and condemned image worship in unmistakable terms. Jaina representatives of Gujarat could not have remained unaffected by the theistic ideas being diffused by the Sufi, with whom they were now in close intimacy, and by the Sultan-rulers with whom they had close financial relations. The persons, who denied the justification of image in Gujarat, was one, Lonka Sah who had intimate familarity with the agama shastra of Jainism, being a copyist or transcriber of manuscripts by profession. Recently two tracts have come to light, being pro-Lonka, which have helped scholars, like Dalsukh Bhai Malvani, to present a balanced picture of Lonka’s point of view and to correct the views of his earlier anti-Lonka writers which had held the field of scholarship so long.
Like the Brahmanical majority from whom minorities like the Jainas had adopted many a religious or quasi-religious practices in the course of a millennium, image worship was the most universal. Abu Raihan Alberuni, who wrote his celebrated work on Indian Culture in Ghaznavide India in the eleventh century, talks of the avataric brand of the Hindu faith of which the Brahmana scholars had the monopoly, to the exclusion of Vedic and Upanishadio philosophy. Taking the cue from Brahmanism, perhaps, the Jaina acharyas of the fifteenth century A.D. seem to have precluded the agama shastra in practice, which to them was no more than a spell of profane swearing. These representatives of Jainology in this Age of Image carving and Image worship were no other than the Chaityavasis, also called bhattarakas, who had laxity and looseness, moral and spiritual, in their daily life as the hallmark of a so-called muni or yati. It is the activities of worldly monks like these which were the source of reaction for the sensitive Lonka Sah whose life history is available in the chronicles of his adversaries to whom his anti idolatry was no less than anathema thanks to the great counter-reaction engendered by the courageous and steady role played by him against the idol-mongers of the day with the cooperation and backing of his twin followers on the grounds of “external appendage” that had crept into the worship of sculptures and the himsa involved in the use of ingredients for the adoration of the deity.
The Nahata scholar, Bhanwarlal of Bikaner, has referred to more than half a dozen tracts contending against Lonka Sah, beginning with 1486-87 for a hundred years,42 and has based his account of Lonka’s life on these sources in the non-availability of any proponent writing to him –
Lonka Sah is supposed to have been born in Circa 1418 A.D. in a Porwar of Pragwat Jaina family of Arhatwara in Sirohi State. Being in a state of weak economic means, he made copying of manuscripts as the means of his livelihood thanks to the great fillip received by this profession at the hands of the shravakas of the fifteenth century under the active influential pressure brought to bear upon them by their bhattaraka gurus. He possessed a beautiful handwriting to commend himself to his employers and the yatis presumably in Ahmedabad the new capital of Gujarat province when, about the year 1451 A.D., in the prime of his life, some inaccuracy in his work of transcription gave rise to altercation with the then saintly patrons, the so-called bhattarak (the revered) class of pontiffs. Censured by the yatiji on his error, the self-respecting copyist was provoked to question the conformity of his behaviour with shastra (scriptures) and propagated this fact among people. At this juncture Lakhamsi Parakh, hailing from Mandapgarh (Mando in Malwa), met him and with his conjunction more opposition against the spiritual relaxation of the yatis came into being. The charge levelled against them was, “Why should the yatis devoid of the qualities of sadhu, be honoured?” to which they replied, “Guise is the authority, the image of Bagwan does not bear the attributes of Bhagwan, nevertheless it is worshipped.” Then Lonka Sah explained his point of view further, “It is not proper to honour an image not endowed with good qualities, its worship also involves himsa. According to Bhagwan, dharma lies in daya that (compassion)” The propagation of these views took Lonka several years when, during the seventies of the 15th century A.D. his second visitor named Bhana was initiated into the discipleship of Lonka (between 1470 and 1477) rising to the status of the first Muni in the hierarchy of Lonka vad which tended toeards short-lived expansion, short-lived because, the absence of a learned, able and proficient leader (after Lonka) led to its disintegration. Within a period of hundred years, the sadhus of the Lonka sect apostatized to the image worshipping creed as in the case of hoborpanthis in view of the fact that image worship was a practice inherited since antiquity and “man by nature is an image-worshipping creature.” Of the thirteen Sub-sects, four are extant today in Bikaner, Baroda, Punjab or Uttar Pradesh and Kota (Haraoti).
Within a decade after this publication of Bhanwarlal Nahata’s article, Dalsukh Bhai Malwania of Ahmedabad came forward with his report on the find of two pothis of Lonka Sah creed says he –
“Lonka Sah is regarded as the first founder of the Sthanakavasi community. The history of Lonka Sah so far written, is based on the version of his adversaries which is incapable of presenting the real facts. Two tracts in manuscript based on the convictions of Lonka Sah himself, but transcribed by Lonka’s adversaries, have come to light. One of them, has the Sanskrit ‘lumpak’, in place of Lunka and the other speaks about Lonka not out of confidence but only to demonstrate the beliefs of Lonka Sah enumerating fifty-eight (58) bols of Lonkas and thirty-three (33) in the other pothi.
“There is not a shadow of doubt that Lonka Sah has discerned himsa (violence) in the carving, worship, consecration of image including tirthyatra and has opposed them in the name of compassion (daya) or ahimsa (non-injury) on the ground that there is no place for image worship in the shastra (scripture) as a duty or compulsory (religious) obligation. In case the Shastra has mention of any individual, like Draupadi, worshipping image, it only means that he or she has performed image worship with a motive, mundane and temporal, not for the sake of moksha (Salvation). Image worship, being a violent deed, could not be a religious deed. In order to prove this (assertion), Lonka Sah, putting to use any agam treatise available for his support, has said one thing along that “dharma (religion) lies in daya (compassion) and sansar (world) in himsa; therefore image worship is an improper act.”
“Several scholars have tried to refute the affirmation of Lonka Sah with competent declarations and possibly it is the result of those declarations that, notwithstanding the nonprevalence of image worship among the Sthanakvasis, the Lonka-gachchha has been positively affected by image worship which has come to stay, not being amenable to uprooting. Many types of external appendages (adambara) have crept into image worship whcih must needs be expelled, but to bid good bye to image worship, along with adambaras, may not be possible……
“Reconciliation or synthesis can not give rise to a community (sam pradaya). Non-image worshipping Lonka Sah sam pradaya rose among the Jainas (no doubt), but non-image wroshipping Jainas of today call them selves Sthanakvasi or Terapanthi, not as Lonka Sahi. In spite of honouring the anti image worshipping stand of Lonka Sah, the leaders of these sects have added some innovations with the result that these sects are recognized by over new names. As for Lonka Sah he himself did not receive initiation from any sadhu; he was a mendicant (bhikshajivi). Yet the did not subscribe to mahabrats (the great vows). He was, therefore, neither a shravaka nor a sadhu. Bhanaji, on his part, when he became his follower (in the seventies of the fifteenth century), he had accepted the mahabrats. Started from him. Later on (after a century and a half) exactly in V. 1687 = 1630 A.D, Bhanaji Rishi (different from the earlier Bhanaji) settled in Dhundh, on account of disagreement with (his) guru; so his faction came to be known as Dhundhia which split into several branches and sub-branches all of which today are designated Sthanakvasis. Some sub sects, however, among these refuse to stay in the sthanak (station). Bhikhanji, withdrawing himself in V. 1818 = 1761 A.D., founded the Terapanth. All are unanimous on the point that image worship may not be performed, but the charge, levelled against Lonka Shah, is that he had made common cause with the then Sultan to destroy many a temple which only bears the sense that the Sultan opposed image worship by demolition, while Lonka Sah made an objection to it on the basis of scriptural authority. The fact that Lonka Sah may have been impelled by Muslim pressure to show hostility on the ground of Jaina agamas can not be ruled out.
Among the Sthanakvasis and Terapanthis of today, thrity-two (32) fundamental agams are accepted authoritatively, while Lonka Sah had recognized forty-five (45) including niyukti (commandment), churni (prose composition) tika (commentary) etc. provided they did not disagree with the agams.
Lonka Sah did not bold rajoharana (dirt remover) danda (staff), mukhapatti (mouth-drapery) and kambal (blanket), usual with contemporary yatis and sadhus. He kept a vessel but, unlike other yatis, he did not plaster it. Also tying the cord of the mukhapatti to the ears came into vogue with the Dhundhias in the post Lunka period, followed by the terapanthis with some change in its measurement. In both the manuscript – pothis, the mention of mukha- patti in the list of things sanctioned by Lonka Sah, is conspicuous by its absence.
Adversaries have conferred epithets like ‘murkha’ (ignoramus) etc. on Lonka Sah but the two manuscript pothis reveal the decisive fact that the agamas and their tikas known to him as explained in his own way, but to say that he was utterly ignorant of the shastras is unjustified.
As to the image worship, he levelled strong attacks in opposition but his words are full of discrimination at every step. On most occasions, he says or writes only one thing at the end that “intellectuals may give thought to this subject or people endowed with discretion should meditate upon it.” This makes it clear that he had no inclination in his writings to increase bitterness.
This opposition of Lonka Sah has borne success and the class, hostile against image worship, has Lonka Sah at its root without doubt. Some people among the followers of Jainism, have given up image worship thanks to Lonka Sah but among those who have stuck to it, antagonism against external appendage (adambara) and slackness in the conduct of sadhus has been engendered with the result that Jainism has managed to retain its spiritualism so much so indeed that image worshipping sadhus themselves strived in this direction. Many a gentleman has endeavoured to lead Jainism to fundamental spiritualism; of them Lonka Sah occupies eminent position among them – there can be no two opinions about it.
Of the above two pothis, 43 one is ‘_Lunkani _Hundi’_ comprising thirty-three (33) bol sangraha in which some ‘apvads’ from Nishidhachurni on mahabrats like ahimsa have been mentioned e.g. “in case tiger is killed for the protection of gachchha.” this action has been declared non-expiatory according to Nishidha – churni, non acceptable to Lonka Sah. Similarly that “a multitude on arrival can destroy the entire army of a chakravarti (emperor)” follows with the remark that “such apavadas can not be the work of Bhadrabahu Swami and the books continuing such statements can not be accepted as authentic as a whole from all points of view. Therefore learned individuals should contemplate on his subject and put faith on fundamental principles with a view to obtain happiness in this world and the next.”
This transcript specifies properly the doctrine of Lonka Sah, the adverse remark of the copyist notwithstanding. In short the subject of the thirty-three bol is to show that the original text of the agam alone is authentic to the exclusion of niryukti etc. or the tikas of the agams which Lonka scrutinized.
The Lukana Saddahia 58 bol is the second pothi comprising a list of fifty-eight (58) bols, believed by Lonka and presented by him to others with a description in each case. This is followed by a list of fifty-four bol with the query on the “whereabouts of the original text of the 54 facts in the agama – a collection of such practices and precepts prevalent in the then Jaina samaj but conspicuous by their absence in the original texts of scriptures.”
The learned writer of this article had proposed to print (and publish) this copy with copious explanation about which we have no awareness. We can only refer to the article of a third scholar in which he calls Lonka Sah a yuga-pravartaka (Revolutionary of the Age), and ‘Principal Manager of the Religious Revolution’ at the same time denying the immoral path of rebellion (vidroha) for him as a practising – believing personality among the Faithful)44 and duly referring, as he does, to the two works available today, the Lukana Sadidya, 58 bol and the Lukana Hundi, 33 bol.
Jaina Taran Taran of Chanderi – desh
The anti-image worship movement in Northern India seems to have started among Hindus simultaneously in the fifteenth century Nagaur (a Jain-Muslim centre) in Central Rajasthan ruled by the Khanzada Dynasty of Tak-Rajput-Muslim denomination and Varanasi in the Sharqi-Turkish kingdom of the Ganga – Jamuna valley on one hand and Ahmedabad, the new capital of Gujarat, another Jains – Muslim centre in Western India on the other. While the Ramanandi Movement of Varanasi, in course of time, covered Rajasthan and Gujarat thanks to the proselytizing activities of the Rajput saint Peepa Kheechi, the Gujarat andolana, arose in a community of non- brahmanic fath community of non-Brahmanic faith dominated by Vaishya traders who lived and carried on their imports and exports of goods in big markets where they came into close contact with Sufis, the spiritual representatives of another Urban community par excellence. This Svetambara movement may have influenced Malwa through Lakhmsi of Mando, the earliest follower of Lonka Sah. While the Svetambaras of Malwa were centred in the capital – fortress of Mando hills, the bulk of the Jaina population was Digambara, spread over the whole region with Chanderi as the headquarters of the Mandalacharya and Batihagarh as the seat of the Lieutenant Governor, later shifted to Damoh (Damovadesh of the Jaina grantha prashastis). Here lived Garha Sah, the father of Taran Taran in Bilahri (Puhapavati in Jaina parlance) as a responsible officer of the Malwa Sultan whose father-in-law belonged to Semalkheri (Sironj Sub-Division of Vidisha district) where his son Taran Taran was brought up as a promising boy under the upbringing of his maternal uncle.
A description of ‘Chanderi under Malwa Sultans’ is called for as a background to understand the field of Taran’s spiritual activities as a wandering saint. “The disintegration of the Tughluq Empire of Delhi and its extinction at the hands of Taimur in 1398, had led to the independent rule of a number of provincial dynasties including that of Malwa where Dilawar Khan had founded the strong and virile kongdom of Mandogarh. Two inscriptions of Prince Qadr Khan (Ghori), dated 1416 and 1420 have been found in Chanderi (Guna district of Madhya Pradesh) and Shivapuri (Sipri) respectively and Muhammad Bihamad Khani, the author of the History of Erachh and Kalpi, called Tarikh-i-Muhammai, the only known manuscript of which is preserved in the British Museum, refers to the usurpation of Paniyargarh, a suburb of Jatahra (now Jatara) by Qadr Khan’s officer, Qazi Junaid and with a view to recover the thana, a military expedition had to be sent by the Malikzada Sultan, Qadir Shah of Kalpi. Qazi Khan Badr Muhammad of Delhi, who calls himself Dharwal (resident fo Dhar), author of a lexicon, the “Adat-ul Fudala,” who came to the court of Qadr Khan, the Governor of Chanderi from Jaunpur in 1419, pays tribute to the Governor for his patronage of poets and scholars there and records his titles as Khan-i-A’azam, Khanqan-i Mua’zzam, Masnad-i ‘Ali Qadr Khan ibn Dilawar Khan. It is not clear whether Qadr Khan was holding the gubernatorial office since the days of his father or whether Alap Khan, the heir apparent, was responsible for his appointment on coming to the throne himself as Sultan Shah-i ‘Aalam (later entitled Hoshang Shah). Thus Bundelkhand in the fifteenth century was being administered from two centres, namely from Chanderi under the direct hegemony of the Malwa Sultan by a governor and from Kalpi where the Malikzada Turks held away, independent of Delhi on a minor kingdom horizontally extending from Bhander in the west to Mahoba in the east, roughly corresponding to the Jhansi Division of Uttar Pradesh without Lalitpur District which owed allegiance to Mando and which included the great Jaina centre of Deogarh as it does today plus the districts of Data, (Gwalior Division) Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur and Panna (Sagar Division) without Pawai Tahsil. Thus Chanderi Division of the Malwa Sultanate extended vertically from Shivapuri and Deogarh in the north to Damoh (then including Sagar District) to the south up to the source of the river Kyan. In Garha, near Jabalpur, was to be founded in the beginning of the fifteenth century a new seat of power by the Raj-Gonds, the nucleus of a kingdom destined to develop in the first quarter of the next century as a powerful State under Raja Amhanadas alias Sangram Sah who had the audacity to occupy such places of the disintegrating Malwa State as Damoh, Mariada and Hatta, counted important ‘garhs’ among the fifty-two forts of the Gond ruler whose Chandela daughter-in-law, the Regent Rani Durgavati, is known to have inflicted a shameful defeat on Sultan Bayazid alias Baj Bahadur of Malwa.
The Parihar oriented phase of Chanderi administration under Sultan Mahmud Khilchi I (1436-69), reminds us of Tughluq rule hundred years back. An insurrection of nobles associated with the overthrown ruler of the Ghori family, brought Mahmud Shah of the overthrowing Khilchi family to Chanderi and not only did he put down the serious rebellion but took further steps to ensure peace and order in the region by advancing the headquarters of the Deputy Governor of Batihagarh to Damoh further south into the heart of the Byarma valley, the stronghold of the Parihar Rajputs, driving them out further south to the vicinity of Garha. The Khilchi Sultans of Malwa seem to have pursued a firm policy of expansion towards the river Kyan as is indicated by the situtation of Ghaisabad (Ghyasabad), presumably named after Sultan Ghayas Khilchi of Mando (1469-1500), rather than the earlier Ghayas Tughluq of Delhi. A number of Sanskrit and Persian inscriptions of this Sultan and those of his successors, in which the epithet of ‘Rajadhiraja’ or ‘Maharajadhiraja’ is invariably used, testify ot the effective rule of the Malwa Sultans there. And the pattern set for later governors of Chanderi by the epithets Khan-i A ‘azam Khaqan-i Mu’azzam used for Prince Qadr Khan is echoed in later inscriptions and Jain grantha prashastis which continued to use similar titles in their corrupt from as ‘Mahakhan Moj Khan’ in a stereotyped manner. Some of the holders of these titles were strong, brave and experienced governors. No wonder, therefore, that the Parihars of Kotara in the trans. Kyan region are found to have concentrated themselves far away in Unchahra while those of the Byarma valley stand receded further south towards Garha in Singorgarh as their stronghold, mentioned in the Ma-athir-i Mahmud in 1440-41 on his way to Bandhogarh and Sarguja for the collection of elephants. Earlier than Mahmud, with Naro (Satna District), as the base of his operations, Virasinhadeva Baghela of Gahora (1501-31) in Banda District (Uttar Pradesh) had undertaken who expeditions to the south the first against Sangram Sah Gond of Garha to punish him for his parricide and the other against the Kalachuri ruler of Ratanpur in Chhattesgarh. In the course of this second expedition, Verasinhadeva defeated these local Parihar Chiefs (“Parihara rajas”) of Damoh region, according to the version of Madhava Kavi, the author of the Virbhanudaya Kavyam, the official history of the Baghela dynasty composed in Sanskrit in the Court of Raja Virabhanu, son and successor of Virasinhadeva. While the comparatively uneventful regime of Ghayas Shah had retained the vigour of Mando rule during the year following the expansionist policy of Mahmud I, one of the most ambitions monarchs of his times who styled himself Alauddin, the Second Alexander, matters took a turn to the worse in the time of his grandson, Naseer Shah (1500-11) amd finally with the accession of Mahmud II there was a pathetic and pitiable deterioration in the affairs of Malwa with the rebellion of the nobility resulting in the dominance of the Rajputs under Medini Rai backed by Rana Sanga followed by the captivity of Sultan Mahmud II in the hands of the Rana (1518) and Gujarat intervention. Meanwhile two new Rajput States of Risen (Tomar) and Chanderi (Chauhan) had come into existence. No wonder, therefore, that the Parihars of South Damoth (Singorgarh) were all but defeated at ease during Virasinha Baghela’s digvijaya campaign.
First reduced by Sangram Sah, Singorgarh is said to have been occupied by Dalpat Sah Gond about the year 1540. What were the relations of Parihar chief now with the Gond authorities we do not know for certain. It could be surmised, however, that some Parihars took up service under the Gonds and were so much influenced by them that, following the example of the Chandela Chief of Rath-Mahoba who gave his daughter, the celebrated Durgavati in marriage to Dalpat, the Parihars followed suit, for Lakshman Sen Parihar of Bilahri is said to have married his daughter to some Raj Gond Chief whose descendants are known as Khatolaha Gonds (i.e. Gonds of Khatola in Bijawar Tahsil of Chhatarpur District) still living in village Magardha, eight miles north-west of Bilahri. Lakshman Parihar lived in the Garhi of Bilahri and the extensive tank called Lakshman Sagar is attributed to him.
Coming to the ‘Cultural Aspects of Chanderi’, Chanderi epigraphs have yielded only a bare list of the kings of the Parihar dynasty ruling practically independent of the Chandelas on one hand and the Paramaras on the other. Bhelsa (Vidisha) under them was a prosperous trade centre, presumably included in the Chanderi principality when Alauddin Khilchi, the Governor of Kara (IIahabad) under Sultan Jalaluddin, led a plundering raid against it in 1292. The fame of Chanderi riches (presumbaly Jaina) seems to have travelled all the way to Delhi when, on the accession of Alauddin to the throne of his murdered uncle, his boon companion, Ala-ul Mulk, the fat Kotwal of Delhi drew his pointed attention to the conquest of Chanderi along with that of Malwa and Gujarat. And when at last his general, Ain-ul Mulk Multani, advanced to occupy Chanderi after the easy conquest of Malwa, Chanderi, now held by the Yajavalkya dynasty, succumbed to the superior arms of the Imperial Turks (1304). Ikhtiyaruddin Timur Sultani (i.e. the slave of the Sultan) is mentioned as the governor in a Chanderi inscription of 1312 A.D. and for the next two hundred years or more Chanderi reamined the centre of Turkish authority in north-east Malwa first under the Sultans of Delhi and next under the Sultans of Mando or ruled independently for a short period by Medini, the erstwhile ‘usurper’ of Mando under the puppet, Mahmud Khilchi II and now a protégé of Sanga of Chittor until it was annexed to his newly acquired dominions by the Mughul conqueror of Panipat (1526) and Khanwa (1527), Zaheeruddin Babar (1528).
In the complete absence of Brahmanical records, the only glimpse that we get of the cultural activities in the ‘Chanderidesha’, pertains to Jaina sources. On coming to power of the Tughluqs in Delhi, the imperial authority was reinforced by the appointment of a strong man as governor of Chanderi in the person of Malik Zulchi, the erstwhile Commander of the Mongol contingent under Sultan ‘Alauddin Khilchi, called Khapaaras in Nabhinandana Jinoddhara Prabandha (1330) in connection with the achievements of the victorious Sultan, described in this Jaina source.45 Batihadim (Batihagarh) was fixed as the headquarters of Deputy Governor Jalaluddin Khoja under Zulchi in the northern Hatta Tahsil of the modern Damoh District. Jalaluddin, popularly remembered as Jallal Khoja, among other things, established, what Rai Bahadur. Hiralal calls a ‘Gomath’ or rest house for cattle at his place of posting. This presumably shows Jaina influence in the region which was brought to bear, it seems, against the refractory Parihar Rajputs, once the independent rulers of Chanderi in the thirteenth century, now occupying a big slice of territory in the Damoh region which was destined to emerge as a strong centre after a century now of Jaina culture with seats of Bhattarakas at Narwar and Sonagir, besides Chanderi as a seat of Digambara Mandaladhisha, next to Gwalior under the Tomaras.
The traditional importance of Chanderi was maintained or perhaps enhanced with the appointment of a prince of the ruling dynasty, Qadr Khan, the younger brother of the heir-apparent Alap Khan, who succeeded his father Dilawar Khan Ghori to the throne of Mando in 1405 as a monarch and who acquired unusual and extraordinary popularity with the Digambara Jain community of Deogarh in Chanderidesh where he is very respectfully, if not affectionately mentioned in an inscription dated 1424 A.D. wherein he has been called ‘Shah Alam,’ one of the earlier titles assumed by him before he stuck to the title of ‘ Hoshang Shah’ which lasted till his death.
Two other Sanskrit inscriptions have been published one of them (brief) by a Bengali scholar in the 19th century (J.A.S.B., Calcutta) (re-edited by Shrimati Dr. Pushpa Prasad of Aligarh Muslim University) and the other (detailed) by Dr. Bhagchand Jain of Damoh in his Ph.D. Thesis in Hindi (preserved in the National Museum New Delhi) in which Hori (with his mother) figures most respectfully as a high-placed officer of Sultan Hoshang. Deogarh, the venue of the latter, was the biggest Digambara cultural centre of Western Bundelkhand (now called Chanderidesh in this period following the eclipse of Khajurhao as a city of temples on the decline of Chandela power in the first decade of the thriteenth century in Eastern Bundelkhand (known as Jejaka-bhukti). As the inscription of 1424 pertains to an image in one of the temples, it testifies to the policy of religious toleration practised by the Malwas Sultan towards the Jaina minority who reciprocated with most willing generosity amounting to close relationship.
A number of inscriptions on Jaina images and those recorded in pattavalis, pertaining to two Digambara Sanghas, namely Mulasangha and Kashtha Sangha, have been made available by modern scholars, besides grantha prashastis (book colophons) which throw light on the brisk activities of the Bhattarak munis encouraging the chiselling of images, the construction of temples and the building of rest houses for the munis and travellers during this period in Chanderidesh where minor Jaina centres like Udaigiri, Erachh, Ahar and Papaura like Udaigiri, Erachh, Ahar and Papaura in its vicinity are known to have flourished.
The Chanderi patta or gaddi founded by Bhattaraka Devendrakirti of the Mulasangha Saraswati gachccha – Nandi amnaya, has three names in the pattavali which are relevant to us. Devendrakirti, who hailed from Gujarat, was a disciple of Bhattaraka Padmanandi and was first appointed as Mandalacharya of Chanderi. He is supposed to have established the Chanderi patta some time before the year 1436, the year of the violent change in the ruling dynasty of Mando from the Ghori to the Khilchi. He is also mentioned in the Deogarh image inscription referred to above (1424). His disciple, Vidyanandi Parwar, entitled Tribhuvanakirti, is believed to have become Chanderi Mandalacharya sometime before 1468 A.D., prior to succeeding his master to the Chanderi patta. Tribhuvanakirti’s disciple and successor to the Chanderi patta, namely Yashahakirti, is a well-known figure famous as an author in Apabharamsha. He was a contemporary of Shah Ghayas and Shah Naseer, the Khilchi monarchs. He often stayed in the Neminath chaityalaya of ‘Jerhat’, a place not yet identified.46 Four of his works have been discovered so far, that is the ‘Harivansha Purana’, the ‘Dharmapariksha’, the ‘Parmeshthi Prakash Sar’ and the ‘Yogasara’ – all of them dated 1495 A.D. which refer in their colophons to ‘Mahakhan Mojkhan’, the stereotyped form of the Governor’s title ‘Khan-i Aazam Khaqan-i Muazzam’ used in prashasthis for any incumbent who may be holding the gubernatorial office who, in this case, could be no other than Mallu Khan II, son of Mallu Khan I. One peculiar feature of the Bhattarakas of the Chanderi patta was that they came from the Parwar caste of the Digambara community, a caste which predominates among the Jainas in Bundelkhand even to this day.
The patta of Sonagiri (Datia district in the Gwalior Division) was a branch pitha of Gwalior, the greatest and the most flourishing Digambara Jaina centre in the capital town of the Tomara rulers. The name, Sonagiri, is supposed to be derived from Shramanagiri, ascribed to Shramanasena Muni (V.S. 1335). The bhattarakas of this centre came from the Kashtha Sangha Mathur gachchha – Pushkara gana. The first guru, who has found mention in inscriptions dated 1449, 1449, 1453 and 1473 A.D., was Kamalakirti who left a disciple Shubhachandra to succeed him, Jina Taran Taran.
The fifteenth centry of the Christian era is a century of Hindu-Muslim coming together, an intermingling of the two communities and their mutual reapproachment. In spite of wars and conquests and lack of a strong central government, there was prosperity all-round grain and other necessities of life were cheap. Sufis of the Chishtiya Order wielded great influence equally over the masss and classes – Muslims and non-Muslims specially Jainas thanks to their vegetarianism and ahimsa. Not only did they approach the people through the medium of mother-tongue which was now what we call Hindi dialects of Khariboli, Awadhi, Gwaliori, Braja bhasha or Western Hindi or Gujarati (Gujari) and compose love epics (prema kavyas) but before the close of the century Kayashas, Khattris, and Kashmiri pundits had taken to learning Persian, the court language, and filling the revenue offices of the Sultans.
Among the most outstanding provincial kingdoms relevant to us, were those of Delhi and Gwalior in Northern India and Mando (including Chanderi) and Ahmedabad in Western India, besdies Nagaur (Rajasthan) and Jaunpur (Uttar Pradesh). Sant Kabir, the Ramanandi, half Muslim – half Nathpanthi as Hazarilal Dwivedi calls him, the most radical social reformer of his time, hailed from Varanasi in the dominions of the Sharqi Sultans and his verses embodying new ideas were steeped in the Jaina – Nathpanthi traditions. Kabir called upon the Brahman – dominated neo-Vaishnavism to fall in line with his principles of cultural synthesis and liberalism in faith and practice leading to mutal toleration and fraternization of castes and creeds. He not only condemned casteism but made idol worship his chief target of attack.
Lonka Sah of Gujarat a Moderate, who did not see eye to eye with the Svetambara priesthood of Gujarat in the middle of the century (15th) had rejected, on grounds of agama-shastra, the practice of himsa and adambara involved in image worship and appealed to the intellectual thinkers of his time to meditate on his pint of view put in mild language. Of his two main followers, Lakham Si hailed from Mandogarh in Malwa through whom the preaching of Lonka Sah may have filtered down to the Jain amasses of Malwa Digambaras.
Lonka Sah’s thoughts, however, were echoed in theory and practice, from an unexpected quarter by a none too learned Digambara Jaina of Chauderi-’Damovadesha’ in the Bundelkhand region of the Mando Sultanate, namely Jina Taran Taran who is said to have been born in 1448 A.D. at Puhpavati (Pushpavati) to his Parwar parents. His father, Garha Sah having retired from this place of his official appointment under the Sultan, popularly as well as officially called Bilahri in Katni Tahsil of Jabalpur district, to Semalkheri near Sironj in the district of Vidisha where, in his maternal uncle’s house, Taran Taran led a life of isolation from the then Bhattarakas among Digambara Jains who had fallen, like the yatis of Gujarat, from the ideals of the ancient munis and had forsaken the rigour of their disciplined life. There is no doubt that their services to Jaina Culture were non too negligible for they promoted the cause of idol making, temple building and manuscript copying on a large scale but the life of growing comfort and ease accumulation of wealth led by them, had made them indistinguishable from priests of mathas for all practical purposes. For, instead of moving about constantly, they mostly resided, with few exceptions in paushadhshalas, upashras and temples practising tantra and mantra, besides ayurveda and phalit Jyotisha (astrology). Even the learned among them like Yashahakirti, his contemporary, held orthodox views on caste and sect inferiority of shudras and women which, to Taran Taran, seemed narrow and reactionary. Taran Taran, though a conservative, held liberal views on Jaina precept and practice, taking to a life of nude asceticism47 and practising austerities in forest resorts like Semal Kheri and Sukha (Damoh District), besides village Rakh, now called Malhargarh in Guna District where he passed the best years of his life attended by his disciples of all castes and creeds including Muslims among whom two names are prominent – those of Luqman and Ruia Raman who is supposed to have been a cotton ginner of ‘pinjara’ by profession, an untouchable caste among the antyajas outside the Brahmanical chaturvarna (four colours).
Taran Taran was a junior contemporary of Lonka Sah and perhaps took inspiration from him. He has left a dozen tracts in verse in which he has propounded the philosophy of ‘anekant’ and ‘syadvada’ emphasizing the importance of atma as ‘paramatma in the making’. There was no place for idol worship in his scheme of religious practice but he refrained from launching a direct attack on the idolatry practised commonly by the Jaina shravakas or house-holdrs. The language of his treatises is a strange mixture of Sanskrit, Prakrit, Apabhransha and Deshi. A collection of these compositions is available in print.
Taran Taran breathed his last at the age of sixty-seven and his samadhi, called Nasiyaji, is the chief centre of Taranpanthi community from where radiates the ideology of this great saint of the Digambara Parwars. Unfortunately there was no scholar among his disciples or devotees who could take up the work of organisation of the panth which even today finds itself indebted to persons outside its fold for the work of editing and publishing of and commenting on Taran bani. As far as the Saint Taran Taran himself is concerned, he deserves to be bracketed with Lonka Sah and Kabir, his Svetambara and Nathpanthi counterparts.
It may not be supposed from the above account that idol worship in Chanderi – Damoh had declined among the Jainas as a result of Taran Taran’s non-conformity with idolatry. On the other hand, the Bhattarakas had succeeded immensely in their mission of persuading the Jain householders to make idols and consecrate them for worship under the auspices of their gurus so much so indeed that a donor philanthropist like Jivaraj Papriwal is supposed to have got chiselled single-handed alone a lakh of Jaina images and caused them to be deported to various temples throughout Northern and Western India and there is not a Jaina temple but it has an image made by Jivaraj Papriwal ! These images bearing the inscription of Jivaraj Papriwal dated V.S. 1548 = 1491 A.D. are found throughout Greater Malwa even today. Not only that. Even the Taran panthis, now called Samaiyas seem to have acquired a backward tendency to return to previous image worshipping state apart from entertaining no objection to perform marriage in image-worshipping families not unlike the Lonkasashis in Gujarat (Siddhantacharya Pandit Kailash Chandra Shastri Abhinandan Granth, 1980, pp. 304-10).
Jainism in Malwa
The following points are necessary to be taken into account in order to understand the correct picture of Jainism in Malwa during the Medieval Period :
In Malwa the Jaina population has always comprised of Digambaras. The migration of the Svetambaras from Gujarat to Malwa or to Mando the capital, to be more correct, seems to have started in the thirteenth century when Dhar Nalchha, and Mando, besides Ujjain, were already the centres of Digambara trade and learning. The great Digambara teacher, Pandit Ashadhar, had found asylum in Dhar-Nalchha, having left Mandalgarh in Rajasthan, thanks to its subjugation by the Turks in the last decade of the twelfth century. With the advent of Pethad Kumar, Oswal Svetambar of Khargone as the amatya of Jayasinha Paramara (C. 1255-C 74), who resided in Mando, the tide of trade as well as learning would seem to have turned against the Digambaras who were all but ousted from the capital at a time when Malwa had attained a high level of civilization and cultural glory. The name of Pethad Sah as a merchant, minister, philanthropist, builder and patron of religious learning is a name to conjure with on the eve of the Khilchi conquest (1304-05). Svetambara dominance over the government of Malwa had thus commenced, but soon there was a setback, as the centre of gravity had shifted from Mando to Delhi. Digambaras, however, contented themselves with their activities in greater Malwa, I mean to say Chanderi where the establishment of a Gomath by the Deputy Governor at Batihagarh may be attributed to Jaina influence which may be traced back to the period of ‘Budhi Chanderi’ (Old Chanderi) whose remains are still extant a few miles away from the present Chanderi lying on the foot of the Pratihara fort of Kirtidurga.
Secondly the double aspect of Malwa history should not be lost sight of. Modern scholars, who have rightly indicated the cultural affinity between Gujarat, Rajasthan and Malwa as the three great regions of Western India, usually refer mainly to the districts of Malwa proper. The dominions of the great Paramara kings, however, had extended to the vicinity of Ranthambhor and the interior of Mewar and Bagad on one hand and to that of Chanderi, Deogarh (Lalitpur district of U.P.) and Damoh (including Sagar) in Western Bundelkhand on the other. When the Succession State of the Malwa Sultans was established after the gap of a hundred years, they combined under their sway not only Malwa, Chanderi and Ramthambhor but even Hadoti and Merwar in the heart of Rajasthan in the fifteenth century and their territory extended towards the east up to Garha in Gondwana. Thanks to their independence of Delhi, the cultural glory of Malwa in the Paramara period was revived in anew set up with Mando as the great Svetambara Centre and Chanderi under the viceroys as a Digambara sub-centre. The dominance of the Jaina Mahajana, administrator, scholar and patron of art and learning of the Svetambara sect returned in full swing under the shadow of the warlike but liberal Sultans with Mandogarh as the centre of gravity so much so indeed that ‘Mandapduraga’ as the fort – capital was called in Jaina terminology, developed in the course of a century into a full-fledged Jaina tirtha (place of pilgrimage) with its epigraph bearing temple outside the Tarapur Gate, dear to the head and heart of Svetambaras even today.The Sultanate counterpart of the great Pethad Kumar of the Rajput period, in more ways than one, was perhaps Sangram Singh Soni. All these Jains who distinguished themselves, in Mando, were orthodox image worshippers and prolific writers in Sanskrit like Punjaraj during this period. Not to be behind hed, however, in the sthanakvasi realm, the Svetambara sect of Mando has the proud privilege of having furnished or thrown up Lakhamsi Parikh from Mando itself as the first among the early followers of the great Lonka Sah of Ahmedabad. It took some time, however, before the Sthanakvasi cult spread in Malwa.
Coming to the second aspect of Jaina culture in Greater Malwa, now called Central India, it must be conceded at once that the first great centre of Digambarism, was the neighbouring Tomara ruled Gwalior during the Age of Raidhu, the prolific Apabharansha poet when the illustrated copies of some of his works were done in the Western India style of painting Chanderidesh or Chanderi Mandal, under the same set of Bhattarak monks affiliated to Kashtha and Mula Sangha, played the second fiddle. The two greatest names among Digambara scholars and saints are respectively those of Ashadhar and Taran Taran, the great Bundelkhand counterpart of the great Gujarati Lonka Sah. While the well-read saint of Ahmedabad criticised the contemporary Svetambara saints cum priests for image whorship on shastric grounds, the Digambara saint of Semalkhedi preferred practice to precept. Both these anti-image cults fourish today in Malwa and Greater Malwa.
Medieval period is a great period in Malwa not only from the point of view of Jainism but on account of the administration of the Sultans whose main props were Jaina bankers and government officers. Unfortunately they involved themselves in the dirty politics of royal succession in the beginning of the sixteenth century and not only came to grief but their violent removal from the scene proved to be detrimental to the best interests of both parties – the Jaina aristocracy and the Turkish royalty. The loss of Jaina vaishyas was the gain of Rajput kshatriyas (Medini and his associates) whose power was on the way to revival during this period through the aggressive leadership of the great Rana Sangram Singh of Chittor.
Mandogarh, the Centre of Svetambara Jainism
Malwa proper including Chanderidesa was a region in which Digambrarism held sway among the Jainas during the Paramara period of the Rajputs whose capital was Dhara which had developed into a great centre of Brahmanical culture during a period of four hundred years prior to the advent of Turkish rule in Northern India. But Turkish rule was confined to Delhi Bayana, Gwalior to the exclusion of Malwa (including Chanderi) which became a part of the Delhi Sultanate only in the first decade of 14th century. For the pre-Khilchi period of Malwa Jainism, therefore, we have to turn Mandogarh, still the Paramara capital, which was destined to occupy the place of Dhara as the hub of the State which was soon to rival if not surpass Gujarat in the realm of literature and religion, if not art and architecture. The credit for this prospect goes to a merchant hailing from Nanduri in Nimardesh son of a ‘dhan-kuber’ (multimillionaire) Dedasah Oswal namely Pethad Kumar or Pethad Sah who started his life as a bankrupt upstart in Vidyapura, the place of his late father’s adoption. Here he had the chance of attending the sermon of a Jainacharya of Tapagachchha, Shri Dharmaghoshauri who, surmising the prosperous condition of Pethod, instructed him to adopt a niyam of five lakh tanka, instead of twenty thousand tanka which he himself had offered to adopt. Thus backed up and blessed by the Suri, Pethad, a young man endowed with courage and talent to bear upon his new enterprise as a wholesaler of ghee (clarified butter) in Mando, the Metropolis of Raja Jaisinhadeva III (1261-80 A.D.) not only made up his loss of Vidyapur, but expanded his business as a “Jack of all trades” to such an extent as to attract the attention of the ruling monarch who offered the post of minister (amatya) to Pethad and that of Kotwal to his son Jhanjhankumar.
Pethad Kumar was endowed with administrational latent and soon he earned the good-will of Jaisinhadeva and the tributes of the subjects by his honesty of purpose and his solicitude for the improvement of the economical condition of both. Apart from this he was brave and fearless, a quality which stood him in good stead when Sarangadeva of Gujarat led an army against Malwa which was defeated after a pitched battle thanks to the military leadership of the minister which earned him the popular epithet of “king without crown.” Pethad was religious, saintly and one endowed with genius, who had taken a vow of brahmacharya (celibacy) at the age of thirty- two. Two instances have been recorded of his physicing treatment of the queen’s ailment and the cure of the royal elephant’s which added to his popularity.
Now came Dharmaghoshasuri on his next visit when Pethad’s business was at its highest pitch. With great devotion that he had for the guru, he approached him with warm reception and celebrated his entry into the city with eclat. According to the Sukrita Sagara Kavya, Pethad had expended seventy-two thousand worth of cash in gold coin in this reception and, in response to the teacheing of the guru, he constructed a temple of Rshabhadeva in Mandavagarh called Shatrunjayavatrara (1263). Fond of learning, friend and encourager of scholars since early youth, he was wont to get prepared new books by request; now he got several copies of many a new and old book written and sent to cities like Bharoach (Broach) etc. where pustak – bhandars (library) one each in seven places most imporatnat from the point of learning were established. Several scholars were recipients of stipend on behalf of the State and on his own behalf.
Pethad was very fond of giving charity, expending as much as one crore and a quarter on alms-house (danshala). On demand from Raja Jaisinha, he gave his own chitravela and kamakubh to him. On the occasion of taking samyattava vrat (vow) from the guru, he gave away one lakh, twenty-five thousand in charity.
Pethad is said to have been very fond of hymnody (bhajan-gayana). He proceeded to Girnar, Abu, Jiravali and Shatrunjaya pilgrimages with sanghas of thousands strong which he financed himself, self-garlanding with Indramala at Girnar on an offering of 56 dhanis worth of gold and establishing it as a Svetambara tirtha. He is said to have been honoured by Raja Sarangdeva of Gujarat.48
Jhanjhan Kumar, son of his merchant – scholar cum statesman father, equally valiant and renowned, followed in his footsteps in the building of poshadhshalas, temples upasras, Equally shrewd and learned, he succeeded to the responsiblilities of Pethad as minister of Raja Jaisinha. For the merit of his father, Jhanjhan brought a sangha (congregational pilrimage party) to Abu, Shatrunjaya and Girnar in Magh Samvat V. 1348=1291A.D. in which two and a half lakh people are said to have taken part! (‘Mandapa durg aur Amatya Pethad,’ Hindi translation of Muni Himanshu Vijayaji’s Gujarati article – P.A.I. Oriental Conference VI pp. 977-90, based on Sukrit Sagar (Sanskrit) by Ratna Mandan Gani, besides Somtilak’s Guruvavali and Jhanjhan Prabandha).
Mandogarh in the Fifteenth Century
After Jhanjhan Kumar, son and successor of Pethad Kumar, follows a political revolution in the history of Mando, as government changes from the hands of Paramara Rajputs to those of Alauddin Khilchi’s lieutenants, as happened in Anhilwara Pattan in Gujarat with the difference that while Alap Khan in Gujarat played a diplomatic role, on one hand and Samar Singh, a shrawak and the other showed an active and persistent outlook, in the matter of preservation of Jaina temples, in earning the goodwill and the patronage of the Khilchi – Tughluq Sultans of Delhi as a Jaina hero. No such personalities, neither among the Governors of Malwa like Ain-ul Mulk Multani (after 1304) and Aziz Khammar (the wine-seller) under Muhammad Tughluq nor among the progeny of Jhanjhan Kumar were forthcoming to save the honour of Jaina dharma or promote their own interests during the period of one hundred years prior to the revolutionary change of set-up following the disintegration of the Tughluq of Delhi. In the absence of local sources of information, there is a long gap between Ain-ul Mulk and Dilawar Khan ‘Ameed Shah’ who managed to make himself the first independent ruler, among his counterparts of Gujarat, Jaunpur and Delhi itself for the matter of that. The Jaina community, trading merchants par excellence and Svetambaras by creed, naturally turned themselves to Mandogarh to try their fortunes with their association with the new Governor who, on his hart, recognized the value of Jaina support, coming as he was with his personal experience of the Delhi empire about the utility of the Jaina capitalist minority and its time honoured loyalty to the reigning Turkish authorities in the administrative sphere. Perhaps Dilawar Khan and his heir – apparent were known to a Sonigra Shrimal family of Kharatara affiliation from their mutual acquaintance. Information about Dilawar Khan’s patronage to the Jaina capitalists being scanty and negligible we turn to his successor Alap Khan who, during his heir-apparentship, had caused the change of capital from Dhara to Mandogarh after the a gap of a hundred years since the conquest of Malwa during the reign of Alauddin Khilchi from the successors of the Paramara Raja Jaya Singh III. Our source for the genealogy of this family is the manuscript of Saraswat Mandan (dated 1575 A.D.) preserved in the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona.
Jhanjhan,49 (Shrimali), the grandfather of Kavi Mandan styled ”Mantri,’50 who is the author of this manuscript, had six sons two of whom, Dehad and Bahad, distinguished themselves as sanghapatis and begot a progeny of authors cum administrators in Malwa. Dhanaraja (Dhanad) the son of Dehad was the author of Shatkatraya composed in 1433 (extant copy made in 1448 at ‘Mandapadurga51 being three Shataks like the Bhartrahari Shata-katraya, namely ”Shrngara Dhanak Shatak,’ Niti Dhanad Shatak and ‘Vairagya Dhanad Shatak’, calling his father, Dehad as the ‘Diwan’ of the ruler who held the title of ‘Aftab’ (i.e. the Sun).
Mandan Mantri, the author of the Saraswat Mandan concerned, calls himself the ‘Mahapradhan’ of Alam Shah of Malwa, by which title, Alap Khan on his accession was known during his early years before adopting finally the title of Hoshang Shah. Mandan refers to his patron in glowing terms. His charitra (life history) is available in two manuscripts namely the Bhagvati Sutra which he caused to be written in 1446 and which is preserved in the Bhandar of Sagara-gachchhiya Upashraya, Patan (Gujarat) and the Kavya Manopar of Maheshwar Kavi.
Mandan Mantri was a Jaina of a highly religious disposition. He caused to be written a Siddhanta Kosh (not extant) i.e. dictionary of Jaina Siddhanta works at the instance of Acharya Jinabhadra Suri at a great cost. As to his own compositions, four of them in manuscript form are preserved in B.O. R. Institute Poona viz. (1) Kavya Mandan (on Kaurava Pandava), dated 1504=1447, (2) Shrngara Mandan (erotics) dated 1448, and (3) Sangita Mandan,52 besides (4) Saraswat Mandan (grammar) cited above. In most of his works he has added the word ‘Mandan,’ his own name. Other works of his named in Jaina Sahitya Ka Vrhada Itihasa vol.V53 are (5) Upasarga Mandan, (6) Champu Mandan (on Draupadi), (7) Kadambari (summary) Mandan, (8) Chandra Vijaya and (9) Kavi Kalpadumaskandha and (10) Alankara Mandan. These are dated 1447 A.D. (V. 1504) as transcribed by Mandan himself.54
From Shrimals we come to Oswal Jainas after the reign of Hoshang when Mahmud Khilchi had usurped the throne of Mandogarh (1435-68) – Oswal Svetambaras represented by Sangram Singh Soni whose treatise, the Buddhisagar in Sanskrit is our source of information. This book was first published from Baroda in Gujarat with a Gujarati translation in 1890 by Sayaji Rao Gaekwar.55
According to the prashasti recorded by the scribe of Buddhi Sagar, he was the Bhandagarikadhikari (Chancellor of the Exchequer) who had accompanied the Sultan on his campaign against the Nizam Shah in 1520=1463 in the course of which he stayed at the tirtha place of Pratishthanapur (Paithan) on the bank of the Godavari where he composed this much sought after book. The prashasti, as rendered into English, may be as follows :- “I adore as ever the learned guru, named Udayavallabha, adorning the regime of Ratnasinha Suri ornament like, endowed with wonderful qualities (of character).
“Mahmud, the king (narendra), the destroyer of the enemy-like mass of darkness, as if with the rays of magnificent sun, who is just like the moon of the sea of Khilchi dynasty, he is victorious.
“Flourishing in his Malwa country in this Mandapa Fort, there was the Chief Bhandagaradhikari (Chief Treasurer) named Sangram Sinha – one who has obtained blessings from Gautam Swami through his devotion, honourable, safe, from fear due to wisdom thanks to Saraswati’s favour. Son of Shriman Naradeva of Oswal family, this Sangram having (studied) Shastras of chaste and serious meaning and having (extracted) their gist (imbued) with all philosophies, I am writing this shastra, named Buddisagara not worthy of comprehension by people, impatient and of sluggish wisdom; serious full of excellent beautiful chhandas, dwelling of Lakshmi, decorated with the full moon like art, united with sat, dharma and vyavahara, furnished with four tarangas (chapters) and liked by intellectuals.
“During the rule of the world protecting sovereign Alauddin in Delhi, lived the renowned Soni, Shri Sangan. His son, Padmaraj, highly endowed with good qualities, had a son named Sura whose son was Dharma. Dharma had a truthful son Var Sinha who had two sons, Naradeva and Dhanadeva, benignant on the poor and orphans, (foremost) among members of the Oswal family. Dhana Soni distributed much wealth among people in Chandrapuri,56 delivering, hundreds and thousands of people from the jeopardy of the Shakas (Turks). Naradeva, the elder brother, opening an alms-house (danshala) in Mandap-durga, was ever ready to give charity to deserving people. He was amatya, keeping good company in the Raj Sabha (royal court) – other regarding, non-adulterous, handsome, Bhandagaradhurandhara (Chief Treasurer).
His son, all merciful, helpful to others, virtuous, gentle, devotee of Jina (Mahavira), i.e. Sangram Sinha, is presently superb. The arrows of Naradeva’s son, Sangram, after piercing their target, rebound to their (starting) place; this was a marvel! All people see the Naradeva’s son, this Sangram, full of miracles, as one who has mercy; an altruist whose enemy is not even mentioned. There is brotherly relation (with him) for other-women and want of raga (greediness) for other’s wealth. His renown is pure like the rays of the moon, he was ever victorious.
According to Vikram Samvat 1520 =1463 A.D., corresponding to Shaka Samvat 1385, Chaitra fortnight, dated 6th Friday…..during the administration of the Malwa ruler, Mahmud, this (book), was written. The Malwa ruler, at this time, had gone to the Deccan, for conquering Nizam Sahi in battle. This book is compiled in Pratishthanpur purified by the waves of the Godavari, by Sangram Sinha the Kavindra (poet), endowed with wisdom, having saluted the Jina (Mahavira). Thunderbolt-like in piercing the pride like mountain of the Gurjaras (Gujaratis) Mahmud, the Master of the land of the Deccan (Dakshinabhupati) winner of whose faith, Sangram, may live long, bestowed with friends and progeny!
With whose merit vani (literary production) is everywhere exalted or the whole world is decorated and enriched with jewels, ornaments and who is loved by other ladies like brother, this fourth taranga is composed by that Sangram Sinha, duly completed (herewith) with rasas (sentiments) like Shringara etc.57
I crave the indulgence of readers for my taking pains to present the prashasti in its entirety for advisable reasons. Mahmud Khilchi is the greatest ruler among the Sultans of Malwa, fortunate enough to get a financier to support the much too frequent campaigns of this “most ambitions monarch of his age” who had entitled himself as ‘Alauddin the second Alexander like his great title sake of Delhi, the greatest imperialist monarch after Asoka Maurya. Not only Mahmud Khilchi wanted to conquer Gujarat and become the “Bhupati’ of the Deccan as hinted by the prashasti writer, he was also the conqueror of Hadoti and Merwar (Ajmer), if not Mewar. His military career has been narrated in some detail by his biographer, Shihab Hakeem in his Mathir-i Mahmud Shah in the pages of which the Jaina lion behind the throne, whom the Sultan had treated as more than a prop is conspicuous by his absence!
Apart from the personality of Sangram Sinha as a capitalist he was a cultured Jaina scholar, like Mandan Mantri before and Punjaraja Narendra after him, who adorned the Ghori and Khilchi courts of Hoshang and Ghayas respectively. He was a patron of the art of, what is called Jaina Painting in Malwa, having been responsible for getting illustrated the most well known copy of the Kalkacharya Katha dated 1439. He is also the builder of the Maksi Mandir medieval temple originally constructed by him but improved artistically in later periods of which the image, carved at his instance, bearing a genealogical inscription dated 1518=1461 on its back, at present adorns the wall of Nandlal Lodha’s house in Badnawar (Dhar District). As a religious Jaina, fairly advanced in his progress in regard to the ethico-moral duties of a Jaina Shravaka, Agarchand Nahta has cited an instance of a barren mango tree having borne fruit at his instance!58 As to his Buddhi Sagar, it is clear from its perusal that Sangram Sinha was well informed about many subjects of utility, religious as well as temporal of importance. Verily Sangram Singh was an ornament (tilak) of the Age of Mahmud Khilci whom he served most loyally and faithfully and earned his faith on himself so as to acquire the title of ‘Naqd-ul Mulk’ (Treasurer of the State).
Guru Guna Ratnakar is another source which yields two names of Jaina capitalists who flourished during the reign of Mahmud Shah worth mention. One is Chanda Sah Oswal of Hadoti fame, who has been called the Diwan of the ruler, credited with the construction of seventy-two wooden temples in Mando in which images of twenty-four Tirthankaras were consecrated (by Sadhu Sudhanand) in addition to thirty-six lamp-posts erected and four lakh worth of garments distributed. The other multi-millionaire Jaina Svetambara, author of Deogiri Kavya, who visited Mando for the purpose of performing tirtha-yatra (pilgrimage)58 was Dhanaraja and his younger brother, Nagaraja who were honoured by Mahmud Sah. When they reached Anhillapur (Patan), they had to tarry for four months of the rainy season; they fed the congregation during the period with “a variety of fried dainties” and satisfied them with offerings of cloth, gold and silver (Vide Guru Gunu Ratnakar, pp. 35-36 as quoted in Jaga-prasiddha Aitihasik Shri Mandavagarh Tirtha by Nandlal Lodha).
Coming to the luxurious Sultan Ghayasuddin Khilchi (1469-1501), he is reported to have entrusted State business to his father’s minister (amatya), Jeewan Sah Shrimal and after him to his younger brother Megharaja (entitled Mafarr-ul Mulk)59 who, handing over the responsibilities of administration to his nephew Punjaraja, had taken to the life of a devout. Megharaja’s Assistant (Naib), of a Banker (Vyavahari) family mentioned was Gopala Oswal, an adept in the art of archery, who is known as a builder of a Surya Kund, near the Tarapur Darwaza of Mandavagarh. His identity has been obtained from an inscription carved in a step well (baoli) nearby. As to Raj Brothers, Jeeva and Megha Mantris of Ghayas Shah, their whole family were devotees of Somasundar Suri at whose instance, Megharaja put gold tankas worth four mashas (grams) each on comfits (modaks) weighing ten seers each and supplied to each and every Jaina of Mandogarh, besides celebrating big festivals at the cost of two to three lakhs each! (G.G. Ratnakara, pp. 48-49) ibid.
We are concerned here primarily with Punjaraja, better known as Punjaraja ‘Narendra’, whose commentary (tika) on the Saraswata prakriya has furnished his genealogy as recorded60 by him in Sarasvatatika. The date assigned by Aufrecht to Punjaraja (1475-1520) and accepted by other scholars, was on the ground that his uncle Megha was patronized “by Muhammadan king of Malwa in 1475” who could be no other than Ghayas Shah. Punjaraja, entitled “Narendra” (king) similarly retired in favour of his younger brother Munja (Munja Baqqal (bania) of the Ma-athir-i Mahmud Shahi) to devote himself to study (Peterson’s 5th Report, p. 167).
Punjaraja was a scholar of extraordinary merit, regarded as an authority on a variety of subjects :- Kavya, natak, prahasana, vyakarana, and alankara. In addition to the Sarasvata Tika,61 he is known as the author of a Nataka, called Madhu Manjari and two works on Alankara. His charity was best demonstrated during the days of famine. He is known to have performed ‘tuladans’ several times.
Unfortunately the Jaina aristocracy of Mando involved themselves in the family politics between father Ghayas Shah, an octogenarian, and his young ambitious heir apparent Naseer to such an extent that Munjaraja fell a victim to the deadly sword of Naseer’s partisans. Not only that. Sangaram Singh, who must have been as advanced in age as Ghayas Shah, if not more, was called upon by Naseer Shah (1501-11) to leave Mando. A sahukar named Sahsa, whose ancestor Dharna, a sangha pati honoured by (Rana) Kumbhakarna, had built a four- faced (Chaturmukh) temple in Ranakpur, is reported to have been appointed Chief Dharmadhikari (of Charitable Department) by Sultan Ghayasuddin. This Sahsa is credited with the building of a high topped chaturmukh temple on Mount Abu, consecrating a brass image weighing 120 man62 and three Jina idols (Guru Guna Ratnakar Kavya pp. 44-46 ibid).
Ghayas Shah had two Jaina Porwal brothers Sura and Vira in Mandogarh. They went to Ambarhat (with Sadhanand Suri) leading a sangha, the paraphernalia of which – horses, elephants and palanquins etc. gave the impression that some powerful conqueror had marched his army in that direction. In the festival held by the two Porwal seths with much expenditure, Shambhuratna vachak was honoured by the appellation of ‘Acharya’ with whose propitious influence, both the sanghapatis were enabled to acquire the royal firman for the performance of the pilgrimage at an exorbitant expenditure (G.G. Ratnakara, pp. 34-35) ibid.
Last but not the least example of ostentatious demonstration recorded in the same source is that of another multi-millionaire (dhana-kuvera) Vellaka to the effect that, obtaining royal firman for tirtha-yatra, he started with a congeregation (sangha) from Mandogarh to Ratlam where more sanghas joined to increase the maha-sangha to a multitude of fifty-two sanghas, each with its own leader (sanghapati) with Vellak nominated as the Chief Sanghadhipati by Acharya Sumati Sundara Suri. The superabundant congregation thus formed, now proceeded to enter the fort and performed usual worship in the shrines, with flag-hoisting ceremony according to shastra. From there the congregation reached Jivapalli where they worshipped Parshvanath and underwent a variety of ceremonies when the Sanghapati (Vellaka) honoured himself with the garland of Indramala. From Jivapalli, the next pilgirmage was Arbuchal (Mt. Abu) where Vellaka once again assumed Indramala, after ceremonial worship, at the cost of nine thousand tankas (each tanka eaqual to four masha gold) showing fond affection to the whole gathering. From there the sangha reached Ranakpur where Vellaka and Dharama Singh built several shrines with ceremonies after which, performing the worship of Arhat, they came to Idar fort where Vellaka felicitated the gurus with gold coins and clothed three hundred ascetic sadhus with the robes of Munis and conferred the epithet of ‘Pandit’ on Somasagara Gani. The sangha-patis returned to Malavadesh after the adoration of Sambhavanatha Swami on the Pavak mount. Before dispersing to their homes, they took part in the devapuja celebrations in Mandava with eclat (G.G. Ratnakar Kavya) Ibid.
Casual surveys conducted by scholars in Gujarat and Malwa have yielded certain Jaina works which may be mentioned here before we conclude this section with the development of Mandogarh as a tirtha :-
A Charitra Kavya, Vidya Vilasa Narendra Chupai was written in V. 1561=1504 A.D. by Nyayasundar Upadhyaya, disciple of Jinavardhan Suri of the Pippalak branch of the Kharataragachchha in Narwar (unpublished). In the same year 1561 = 1504, Ishwarasuri composed a beautiful Kavya, the Lalitanga Charitra in Dashpur (Mandsaur) yielding some historical facts in its prashasti and language which is apabhransha-oriented, a Kavya preserved in Patan Bhandar. The poet calls “Shri Punja Narendra Mafarr-ul Mulk” by a new epithet “Hindua Rai Vazir” (minister) in the prashasti where Ghayas and Naseer also find mention. Additional name of this Kavya, mentioned, is ‘Rasaka Churamani Punja Prabandha.” ‘Magsi Stavana’ of Udaya Sagar Suri is one other stuti kavya of the 17th century by a Svetambara, worth mention.
Sundry othe writings in Rajasthani prose pertaining to Malava Pradesh have been traced of which Shilopadesha Mala Bodha is one of the Bhasha (vernacular dialect) commentaries written by a great writer Muni Meru Sundar of the Kharataragachchha on many a Jaina grantha in Mando under the nomenclature of Balavabodh, at the instance of Dhanaraja, Shrimala Sanghapati of Mandava in V. 1525 = 1468 A.D.
A detailed description of the sixteenth century temples of Mandavagarh by a Kharataragachchhi poet Khemaraja has been given in the Mandapachala Chaitya Paripati which has been published.
Two Solanki Rajput Brothers of Malwa, after visiting Dwarika, got themselves intiated into Jaina dharma by Mandan Muni in 1576 = 1519 A.D. of which the youger brother Brahama Kumar (b. 1511) became ‘Brahma Muni’ in later years and wrote between 1594 (1537) and 1639 (1582) many a Kavya of which four of them are Buddha Chaupai, Sudharma Sudarshana, Meta Chaupai and Neminatha Niwahala. Two treatises by Manji Rshi on the biography of Brahma Muni of which is ‘Vinayadeva Suri Vivahalo’ is one, Vinayadeva Suri being the additional name of Brahma Muni.
A writer of Punamgachchha in the beginning of the seventeenth century, known as Malavi Rshi, wrote his Sajhaija in 1616 = 1559 A.D., a historical account of a particular event in his life.63
Mandavagarh as a full-fledged Tirtha :—
We have already seen that Raja Brothers Dhana and Naga visited Mandogarh as pilgrims as early as during the reign of Sultan Mahmud Khilchi (1435 = 69). In the estimate of the late Agarchand Nahata,64 Mandogarh developed into a Jaina tirtha in the sixteenth century. This opinion of the Bikaner scholar has been confirmed by the scholar of Badnawar, Nandalal Lodha on epigraphical literary and structural grounds. The litrary source is the Chaityavadan by Rshabhadas in which the poet says as follows :—
Ê¢«UŸª…U ŸÙ ¦UÊÁ¡ÿÙ¥ ŸÊŠŒŠ ‚È¬Ê‚–
Á¦U·÷ Ý§„ŠU Á¡Ÿ ‚¦UÃÊ ¬„È¢UøŠ ŸŸË •Ê‚H zH
“Greetings! To (Su) Parshvadeva in the State of Mandavagarh. Rishabhadasa says, “Remembrance of the Jina satisfied the hope of mind.” The author was a contemporary of Hiravijaya Suri of the Akbar Period (16th century). The inscription in question is that carved on the (dilapidated) temple in the Tarapur town63 outside the Tarapur Gate at the instance of Kanakaprabha Suri of the Shribhinmala Badgachchha by Bohra Gopala of Mando at the southern talahti published in the Bani Monthly Hindi Patrika of Khargone. The inscription is dated 1551 = 1494. Earlier in 1542 = 1485 the same Bohra Gopala had carved another inscription on his Surya Kunda baoli near the Tarapur Gate. This is the spot, it has been suggested, between the village temple (1494) and the gate baoli, a distance of 21/2 miles which may be called the Mandogarh Jaina tirtha of the Svetambaras, equally sacred to the Digambaras. Every Jaian should be proud of it as a memorial of the glory of Jaina dharma in the medieval centuries of the Christian era. The only impediment in the path of spiritual growth was the luxury and ostentation in the Age of the Luxurious Monarch and the opulence of the dhanakuberas (multimillionaires) which the Jain ethics was cautious enough to keep under control. This is seen abundantly in connection with the Jaina pilgrimage sanghas in the same way as contemporary Gujarat in the case of the gold – painted illustrated copies of the Kalkacharya katha manuscripts. Apart from these remarks on the extravagance and exorbitant expenditure of their money by the Jaina laity, it may be said without any shadow of doubt that the fifteenth century was a Golden Age of the medieval period for Jainism in Malwa and also for the Turkish Sultanate for the matter of that medieval period for Jainism in Malwa and also for the Turkish Sultanate for the matter of that. After Ghayas Shah Khilchi begins a period of immediate decline both for the Jaina subjects and the Sultan rulers.
- Banarasi Das of Ludhiyana (Punjab) has referred to a fourteenth century hymn in popular Persian ascribed to Jinaprabha Suri, the celebrated associate of Sultan Muhammad Tughluq (1325-51), discovered and published by Muni Jinavijaya together with an old Skt commentary on it (Jaina Sahitya Samshodhaka Poona, III, 1921) :—
üÊË ´§·÷ŒŠ SÃŸ
- À‹ÊÀ‹ÊÁ„U! ÃÈ¦UÊ „¢U Ý§Ëê’M§ ‚Á„UÿÊŸ ÃÈ¢ ¦UÊ ¦UšÊ¢Œ–
ŒÈŸËÿ Ý§‚ ŠŒÊŸß ’ÈSÊ¦Uß¸ ’Èœ Áø¦UÊ Ÿ„Uÿ¢H
Allah, O Allah! I am Thy servant. Thou art my Master, O Lord of the Universe! Thou knowest the people of the World. How is it that Thou does not remember me? (Siddha-Bharati I, Hoshiarpur pp. 47-48)
- Sharad Pagare : Purva-madhyayugin Dharmik Asthaen : ek Aithiasik Sarvekshana (650-1150), Ph. D. Thesis-1973-74, pp. 185-93; Catholicity of Jainism and Reaction of outer Influence on it by Kamta Prasad Jain : Paper submitted to the All India Jaina Shasana Conference, Calcutta (Jain Antiquary, XIII, 1 (9-18); Early Chauhan Dynasties.
- Early Chauhan Dynasties, 1959 pp. 221-22 (based on Haribhadra Suri’s Sambhodha -prakarana).
- Persecution at the hands of Chaityavasins (had been) already rampant elsewhere e.g. in Gujarat where “Silagunasuri, the teacher of king Vanaraja Chandra) 765-825 A.D. had asked him to issue orders forbidding the stay of other saints except Chaityavasins in the city Anahivada. In order to violate it, in 957 A.D. Jineswarasuri and Buddhisagara Suri (had) defeated the Chaityavasins in the debate in the court of Durlabharaja (above) and (had) thus sought permission for the admission on the Vidhimarga in Patan (Kailash Chand Jain : ‘Jainism in Raj’ p. 89). The illiberal ruler Jojaladeva had tried to strangle the vidhichaitya movement (by issuing his) order that on the day of the festival or procession of any god, such as Laksmanasvamin, the courtesans, attached to the other gods were to put on their best clothes and attend it along with their managers, artists and musical instruments. If any ascetic, old or learned person, stood against the practice, he was to be punished by the ruler. The vidhichaitya movement was opposed to the dancing of courtesans in Jaina temples and so were most of the Brahmanas if we may apply Alberuni’s testimony to Rajasthan also. (D. Sharma Ibid).
- The Paramara king had offered him the choice of accepting either three villages or 30000 paruttha drammas. Jinesvarasuri brought about a renaissance in Jainism, and, therefore, he is called the ‘Yugapradhana’ (Man of the Times) – ibid p. 204.
- Jinadatta Suri must have been a good organizer…………rules of discipline (were) laid down (by him) – Vide Agarchand Nahta : Jinadatta Suri pp. 94-96.
- Jinachandra, welcomed by king Madanpala Tomara of Dhilli (1161 A.D.) where his stupa is extant, near the Qutub Minar.
- Dashratha Sharma : Ibid. pp. 221, 223, 225, 229, 129, 260ff.
- Both the books have been translated into English and published from England.
- Kheechi Chauhan History, pp. 12-13, Indroka, Jodhpur, 1990.
- Ifazat-i Hameed (Urdu), 1927.
- Ifazat-I Hameed, 1927; also see ‘Nagaur Through the Ages’, 1999, M.M. Pustak Prakash, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur.
- i.e. saving the life on an innocent neophyte untouchable.
- Qazi Hameeduddin Nagauri was a Suhrawardi, a Khalifa of Shaikh Shahabuddin Suhrawardi of Baghdad.
- For details vide Nagaur Through the Ages ; Chapters I and VI.
- ‘Cheetal’ was a medieval India coin, equivalent to paisa pr pice, wrongly transcribed as ‘jeetal’ in Persian and English. Cheetal-holders are perhaps those professionals – Sufis counterparts of the Jaina chaityavasins to whom Shaikh Hameed, the Tyagi was referring ironically during the Golden Age of Indian Sufism, knowing as we do his altercations in words and correspondence with Shaikh Bahauddin Zakariya of Multan, the saint of the Suhravardi Order which had no objection to the accumulation of wealth provided it was spent profusely in charity.
- The Arabic ‘Awarif-ul Ma – ‘arif’ freely taught in Chishti hospices in India in the 13th century and after.
- The Arabic Awarif-ul Ma – ‘arif’ of Shaikh Shihabuddin Suhrawardi of Baghdad (Urdu Tr.)
- An abdal in the hagio-cracy of Sufi saints, occupies the second position; Sufi Hameeduddin Nagauri has been called an Abdal in chronicles and inscriptions, a status perhaps corresponding to ‘Khullak’ or ‘siddha’.
- Darvesh anglicised as ‘dervish’ = Mohammedian friar.
- Shekhu=same as ‘Sekha’ leading to Sekhawat and Sekhawati.
- Auliya for ‘Auliya’=Persian (Arabic) for “Friends” (of God)=Sufi saints e.g. Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi who raised the Chishtiya Silsila to its zenith as an All-India panth. (J.G. Pr Sangraha II pp. 58, 59, 74).
- For the Sufi-oriented nomenclature of the Jainas vide Jaina Grantha prashasti Sangraha. For the Rajput names of children see Kheechi Chauhan History, 1990, Indroka, Jodhpur.
- Jaina Hitaishi V, 10; Jainagrantha-Prashasti Sangraha I pp. 8-9; Jaina Sahitya aur Itihasa p. 129; Anekant III, 11 pp. 669-76 and 12 pp. 697-706.
- J.S. Bhaskar (Diamond Jubilee Volume) XXIII, 1; Anekant VIII, 8-9; J.G.Pr. Sangaraha II, pp. 67-70, 116-17.
- Kharataragachchha Guruvavali.
- Examples are Kafur (Malik Naib) and Khusrau Khan (both Parwaris; of Gujarat), the latter managed to usurp the throne of Alauddin’s successor, after doing away with him.
- Trained and groomed by his preceptor, Amir Khusrau, the ‘adi kavi’ of Khari-boli Hindi furnished a good model for Abdur Rahim Khan-i Khana and Azad Bilgrami in later generations – the trio being the best representatives of Indo-Muslim culture in the medieval period.
- notwithstanding “the elephant ride being “un-Muni practice”.
- Kanyanayana, “near Hansi in the Bagad region”.
- The Malik responsible for getting the mud wiped could not have been ‘Kafur”, as recorded here as an anachronism.
- The word ‘Sarai’ is used both for an inn and a mansion. The image had a history behind it since the Turkish conquest of Ajmer which we drop for want of space.
- court salutation
- may be Sirohi or Sironj
- Kissing the hands of divines, called ‘dast-bosi‘ is a Muslim etiquette. The Suri blessed the Emperor with newly composed verses in response.
- name of a treatise composed by the Suri.
- Badthun on the borders of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh towards the East.
- like Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni as testified by his contemporary scholar, Abu Raihani Alberuni in his Kitabu-ul Hind, “the harmony of throne and altar”.
- Vide Vidhimarga Prapa by Jinaprabhsuri, Bombay 1941; life sketch by Agarchand and Bhanwar Lal Nahta pp. 1-9; Historical References in Jaina poems, P.I.H.C. 1937.
- not ignoring the centenarian Shaikh Ahmad Khattu of the Maghribi Silsila (14th-15th century).
- By the ‘Nagaur” and “Varanasi’ saints are meant (both Rajputs) and Guru Ramananda, the great Brahmana upholder of Nirguna ekaishwarwada.
- Shrimada Rajendra Suri Smaraka Grantha : Shri Saudharma Bhattapagachchhiya Jain Svetambara Sangha, Ahor Bagra V.S. 2013 (1957 A.D.) Marwar Rajasthan.
- Shri Lalbhai Dalapatbhai Bharatiya Sanskriti Vidyamandir (Muniraja Shri Punyavijaya Collection) Ahmedabad.
- Upadhyaya Amar Muni in Munindraya Abhinandana Grantha, Beawar, 1973 pp. 274-92.
- Nabhinandana Jinoddhara Prabandha : Dashratha Sharma in I.H.Quarterly, No. 1 March 1956, pp. 96-98.
- unless it may be taken as a Persian expression “Zer Hatta’ = Below Hatta i.e. Hatta, the northern tahsil place of Damoh District, Zer meaning talahti.
- The sadhu presiding over the Taranpanthi Nasia of Malhargarh in Guna District uses drapery (langoti) to cover his nakedness.
- Pethad Kumar is credited with having caused to be prevented meat-eating, wine drinking, dyuta (gambling), shikar (hunting), veshya-gamana (prostitution) etc. on days and dates sacred to Jaina religion throughout the dominions of Raja Jayasinha Paramara of Malwa (1261-80 A.D.) ibid ff.6.
- This Jhanjhan of Jalaur origin is different form Jhanjhan, the son of Pethad
- Mantri was the family title.
- edited in Kavyamala 13, (N.S. Press Bombay).
- Jaina Granthavali, Pydhoni, Bombay, 1909 p. 313.
- Parsvanath Vidyashram Shodha Sansthan, Varanasi, 1969.
- Badipur Vishwanath Bhandar Patan.
- I have used the Ratlam edition of the text, dated 1936.
- Chandrapuri evidently is the capital town the same name, ruled by Chauhan Rajputs near modern Firuzabad, on the bank of the Jamuna over a principality, one of the renowned Jaina centres in the fifteenth century.
- For this free rendering of mine I am indebted to Prof. Anjani Prasad Pandey of Govt. Sanskrit Collage, Rewa who obliged me with a Hindi translation from the Ratlam edition of the Buddhi Sagar (1936).
- Madhya Pradesh Sandesh, August 1962, p. 15.
- This is proof positive of the fact that Mandogarh had acquired the status of a place of pilgrimage in the 15th century Turkish rule.
- ‘Mafarr-ul Mulk’, wrongly transcribed in Jaina, sources as “Mafrul Malik’, means ‘Resort of the State’.
- Adyar Library Bulletin V, 3 pp. 1-5.
- man=ten seers
- Malwa : Ek Sarvekshana, being a souvenir called Malavika published on the occasion of Akhil Bharatiya Prachya Vidya Parishad 26th session, 1972.
- ‘nagara’ (town) used here shows that the same Tarapur has now dwindled into a village of no significance.