History of Jainism may be studied under two heads – (A) Mah�v�ra Age (C. 599 – C. 527 B.C.) and (B) Post-Mah�v�ra Age (up to the 18th century A.D.). The Mah�v�ra Age is very important in the History of India because it brought about significant changes in religious, social and economic spheres. For the Mah�vira Age, the source material is scarce, but for the Post-Mah�v�ra Age, the Jaina source material is rich.

(A) The Mah�v�ra-Age may be divided into two main classes : (1) Literature and (2) Archaeology. (1) The literature comprises the following : (i) Canonical works, (ii) Exegetical works : (a) Nijjutti, (b) Bh�sa, (c) Cu��i and (d) ��k� (iii) other works, (iv) Supplementary works : (a) Buddhist works (b) Brahmanical works, (2) Archaeology.

(B) The post-Mah�v�ra Age may be subdivided into three classes : (1) Archaeology : (i) Jain inscriptions (ii) Jaina Monuments, (2) Literature : (i) General works (ii) Literary works, (iii) Historical works, (iv) T�rtham�l�s, (v) Pra�astis, (vi) Pa���val�s and (vii) Va���val�s. (3) Writings of the foreigners.


Since certain very significant changes took place in the political, religious, social, and economic spheres, the age of T�rtha�kara Mah�v�ra may be said to have marked a new epoch in Indian history. Also known as ‘The Historic Period’, it provides a firm basis for the reconstruction of Indian chronology by furnishing dates of the Nirva�a of Mah�v�ra and Buddha. The sources for the reconstruction of the history of ‘T�rtha�kara Mah�v�ra and His Times’ may be divided into two main classes : (1) Literature and (2) Archaeology. The literary evidence is very rich and varied in comparison with the archaeological.


The contemporary literature on which this work is generally based remained in the form of oral traditions for a considerable time and was codified much afterwards with certain interpolations and changes. Hence, it has been used after critical examination. The literary evidence is twofold: (a) direct and (b) collateral. The direct evidence is that which is furnished by the Jaina literary works, and the collateral one is gathered from the contemporary Buddhist and Brahmanical literary sources. Collating these sources of information, one can not only prepare a sketch of the life of Mah�v�ra but also draw a fairly vivid picture of India, depicting political, religious, social, economic, and other conditions of the time in which he lived, moved and preached.

The Jaina literary works may be further divided into sub-classes.

(i) Canonical Works

These canonical works of the Jainas did not originate at one particular point of time, though their tradition can be traced back to Mah�v�ra and his disciples. But afterwards, these works had to undergo considerable changes, as a result of which several works as portions of the works were added to them from time to time. While different names are ascribed to one and the same canon, the number of canons varies considerably.

The important canonical texts are the Kalpa S�tra, S�trak�t��ga (S�yagada�ga), Uttar�dhyayana (Uttarajjhaya�a), �c�r��ga, (�y�ra�ga), Vy�khy�praj�apti (Bhagvat� or Viy�hapa��atti), Niry�valik� (Niray�valiy�) Up�sakada�� (Uv�sagadas�o), J��t�dharmakath� (N�y�dhammakah�o), Aupap�tika (Ovav�iya) R�japra���ya S�tra (R�yapase�aiya), and �va�yaka (�vassaya). As far as the contents of these Jaina canonical S�tras are concerned, they are traditionally known as the Pravacanas of the Jainas, particularly those of Mah�v�ra. Their chief interest lies in the clear presentation of various topics relating to the lives of the Jinas and their teachings. Incidentally, they also throw valuable light on the political and cultural aspects of the country. To this list may be added the ï¿½a�kha���gama and Ka��yap�hu�a, which give us some information about some portion of D���iv�da. These two throw light on the doctrine of Karma and Gu�asth�na.

The major portion of the Kalpa S�tra is devoted to the biography of Mah�v�ra, including his birth, lineage, parentage, childhood, marriage, itinerary during asceticism and finally his Nirv��a. It also refers to the nine Licchav�s as having formed a league with nine Mallak�s and eighteen clan-lords of K���-Ko�ala.1

The S�trak�t��ga, the Uttar�dhyayana and the ï¿½c�r��ga contain the oldest part of the canon from the linguistic and literary points of view. These are very important as they enlighten us about the original teachings of Mah�v�ra. The object of theS�trak�t��ga is to guard young monks against heretical beliefs and to lead them on towards the attainments of the highest knowledge.2 They are to encounter many trials and tribulation but not to commit sins. The fundamental doctrines of Jainism leading to the final deliverance of man have been discussed. Mah�v�ra has been represented as a great preacher and praised for the virtues which have been described. This work also describes the four heretical creeds of the time of Mah�v�ra – Kriy�v�da, Akriy�v�da, Aj��nav�da, and Vinayav�da ï¿½ creeds which are known to have given rise to three hundred and sixtythree schools. One passage gives the names of the existing classes, such as Ugras, Bhogas, Aik�av�kus, J��t�s, Kauravas, and Licchav�s.3

The intention of Uttar�dhyayana, as rightly pointed out by H. JACOBI, is to instruct a young monk in his principal duties, to commend to him the ascetic life by precepts and examples, and to warn him against the dangers besetting his religious life.4 It emphasises the duties of pupils towards their teachers, and their mutual relations.The fundamental principles of Jainism, such as T�iratna, austerities, Karma, Navatattva, Le�y�s, Samitis, and Guptis, have also been discussed. Instructions regarding the practice of righteousness by Mah�v�ra have been mentioned. Das�r�abhadra of Da��r�a, Karaka��u of Kali�ga and Ud�yana of Sauv�ra are known to have become Jaina monks after giving up their kingdoms. �re�ika with his wives, servants and relatives appears to have adopted Jainism. Harike�abala, born in the family of Ca���las, became a monk possessing the higest virtues. Vijayagho�a, who was engaged in performing Brahmanical sacrifice, was converted to Jainism by the monk Jayagho�a, who approached him for alms.

The ï¿½c�r��ga S�tra has preserved a sort of religious ballad, an account of the years during which Mah�v�ra led a life of rigorous asceticism, thus preparing himself for the attainment of the highest spiritual knowledge. It contains imporant rules for Jaina monks and nuns. These rules are classified in the S�tra under such general heads as begging, walking, modes of speech, entry into other’s possessions, postures, places of study, and attending to the calls of nature.

The Bhagavat� S�tra in its various dialogues gives a vivid picture of the life and work of Mah�v�ra, his relationship to his disciples and to the kings and princes of the time, and contains an account of the Jaina dogmas on Sa�s�ra and Karma in the form of questions and answers between Mah�v�ra and Indrabh�ti Gautama. It also embodies a list of sixteen Mah�janapadas at the time of Mah�v�ra. A�ga was governed as a separate province under K��iya with Camp� as its capital. In the war with Vai��l�, K��iya is said to have made use of Mah��il�ka��aka and Rathamu�ala. Ud�yana, a ruler of Sauv�rade�a, being influenced by the teachings of Mah�v�ra, renounced the world and became a Jaina monk. The work also enlightens us about the life and teachings of Go��la who lived in the company of Mah�v�ra for a period of about six years during which the latter was engaged in his ascetic practices.

The Niray�val� S�tra refers to the great battle between K��ika of Camp� and king Ce�aka of Videha and Vai��l�, when the eighteen confederate kings are stated to have sided with the latter. The bone of contention was the Magadha State elephant �reyan�ka and a huge necklace of eighteen strings of pearls which were given by �re�ika to his sons, Halla and Vehalla.

A vivid picture of social life has been presented by the Uv�sagadas�o. It contains the stories of pious householders who became lay adherents of Jainism. The wealthy potter named Sadd�laputta, for instance, was at first a follower of Ma�khali Go��la, but afterwards went over to Mah�v�ra. It informs us about the life and teachings of Go��la who lived in his company for some time. B�r��as�, Kampillapura, Pal��apura and �labh� were the important towns within the kingdom of Jiyasattu, and Vai��l� was ruled by Ce�aka.

The title of the text N�y�dhammakah�o may be explained as ‘Stories for the Dhamma of N�ya’ (J��t�i), i.e. Mah�v�ra, who is also called J��t�iputra, N�ya or N�taputta. The stories found here explain the teachings of Mah�v�ra. They indirectly throw light on the economic condition of the people. They describe the sea-faring merchants of Camp�, who loaded their waggons with various commodities and proceeded to deep harbour. A merchant named P�lita of Camp� is known to have gone on business to the town of Pihu��a or Pithu��a, a sea-coast town. The palaces, described in this text as lofty, had domes, and their floors were richly decorated with various kinds of gems and jewels.

The Uvav�iya S�ya (Aupap�tika S�tra) contains an account of Mah�v�ra’s Samava�ara�a in Camp� and the pilgrimage of K��iya to this place. It also speaks of the T�pasas as those religiex who adopted the V�naprastha mode of life on the banks of the sacred rivers typified by the Ganges.

The R�yapase�aiya is an Up��ga containing a dialogue between Ke��, a disiple of P�r�va and Paesi, a ruler of Setavy�. Ke�� tries to prove to Peasi that the soul is independent of the body. The P�li counterpart of this Up��ga is known as the P�y�si Suttanta. This text also describes the celestial mansion of S�ry�bhadeva, its beautiful pillars, its opera hall and pavilion. The details of architectural varieties and decorations given here are important and have a bearing on the development of Indian architecture. Corresponding to such a description, we have pictures of various celestial mansions in the P�li Vim�navatthu.

The ï¿½va�yaka S�tra contains some interesting historical details of the time of Mah�vira. During the war between Candan�’s father and king �at�n�ka, she was taken captive by the army of the enemy and sold in Kau��mb� to a banker, Dhan�vaha. In due course Candan� accepted Jainism from Mah�v�ra and became a nun. The daughters of king Ce�aka of Vai��l� were married to some contemporary rulers. M�ig�vat� was married to king �at�n�ka of Kau��mb�, �iv� to Ca��apradyota of Ujjayin�, Jyesh�h� to Nandivardhana, brother of Mah�v�ra and ruler of Ku��agr�ma, and Sujyes�h� joined the Order of Mah�v�ra’s disciples. Mah�v�ra during his wanderings as a monk visited K���. Aj�ta�atru of Magadha not only humbled Ko�ala and permanently annexed K��� but also absorbed the State of Vai��l�. Magadha and Avanti were brought face to face with each other. Ud�yina was a devout Jaina.

(ii) Exegetical Works

The exegetical works interpreting the canons is very vast. As a matter of fact, it seems to be quite impossible to interpret the canons without the help of the commentaries. On the whole, the commentatrial works appear to be trustworthy since the commentaries have tried to preserve the old traditions and legends current in those days. While illustrating the tenets of the canons, their authors have referred to old compositions, ancient traditions and ancient explanations. All this proves that they have attemped to make them authentic. These works include some of the important commentaries such as the B�ihatkalpa Bh��ya and its V�itti, the Vyavah�ra Bh��ya and its Vivara�a, theNi�itha C�r�i, the ï¿½va�yaka C�r�i and commentaries on the ï¿½va�yaka and Uttar�dhyayana.

The exegetical works are undoubtedly a mine of rich treasure in themselves. In these works, we come across descriptions of various customs and beliefs prevalent in those days in different parts of India, of various feasts and festivals of religious sects, wandering ascetics, famine, robbers, and dacoits, of inaccessible roads, mountains and deserts, of economic production, industry, trade routes, dress, ornaments, food, and various other matters of importance, which have nothing to do with religion as such, but are of general interest to man.

This exegetical literature consists of four parts (a) Nijjutti (b) Bh�sa (c) Cu��i, and (d) ï¿½ï¿½k�.

(a) Nijjutti

The oldest explanatory literature represented by Nijjuttis contains a number of historical or legendary tales elucidating Jaina doctrines and moral or disciplinary rules given in the Jaina canons. The following are the ten Nijjuttis : (1) �yar��ga, (2) S�yaga�a�ga, (3) S�riyapannatti, (4) Uttarajjhayana, (5) ï¿½vassaya, (6) Dasavey�liya, (7) Dasasuyakkhandha, (8) Kappa, (9) Vavah�ra, and (10) Isibh�siya. Tradition is unanimous in attributing the authorship of the Nijjuttis to Bhadrab�hu who seems to be different from Bhadrab�hu (297 B.C.), the last ï¿½rutakevalin.

(b) Bh�sa

The next chronological stage of development in the   commentatrial literature after Nijjuti is Bh�sa. The eleven ï¿½gamas seem to have their separate Bh�sas. The Bh�sas on the B�hatkalpa S�tra, Vyavah�ra S�tra and Ni�itha S�tra are very important as they contain most valuable items of information regarding various topics, especially the life of monks and nuns and the society of those early days.

(c) Cu��i

The third category of commentaries is known as Cu��is. Many of the ï¿½gamas contain Cu��is, majority of which in their published form are ascribed to Jinad�saga�i Mahattara. Out of the extant Cu��is, the ï¿½vassaya and Nis�ha are the most important as they contain an invaluable treasure of information from the point of view of Jaina history and culture. The ï¿½vassaya Cu��i describes some important incidents of the life of Mah�v�ra and also refers to some important kings and princes contemporary to him.

(d) ��k�

Haribhadra S�ri (705-775 A.D.) was a distinguished and versatile writer who is known to have written his commentaries on the canons in Sanskrit. His commentaries on ï¿½vassaya, Dasavey�liya, Nandi and Anuyoga are famous. ��l��ka S�ri (872 A.D.), V�divet�la ��nti S�ri, Abhayadeva S�ri and others also contributed to exegetical literature in which the commentaries on the ï¿½vassaya, Uttarajjhayana, B�ihatkalpa Bh��ya, Vyavah�ra Bh��ya, ï¿½h�n��ga, Bhagavat�, Jambudv�pa-praj�pti and Kalpa S�tra are most valuable for the reason that they record various important traditions.

These different types of commentaries on canonical works give detailed information about the life of Mah�v�ra, and other political and cultural aspects of his times. Their motive was sometimes to apotheosise T�rtha�kara Mah�v�ra into a superhuman being by describing him in hyperbolic terms. Though based on tradition, these are still late works and cannot be wholly relied upon unless they are not confirmed by some other independent sources. After critical examination of traditions and legends, these works have been utilised.

The commentaries of ï¿½atKha�dagama and Ka��yap�hu�a by V�rasena are known by the name of Dhaval� and Jayadhaval�. These are useful in getting matter for the doctrine of Karma and Gu�asth�na etc.

(iii) Other Works

Some Jaina Pur��as and the Caritras give accounts of the life of Mah�v�ra and of other contemporary rulers. These are not of much importance from the historical point of view as they appeared very late and their descriptions are exaggerated. The main Pur��as concerning the life of Mah�v�ra are Jinasena’s Hariva��apur��a (783 A.D.). and Gu�abhadra’s Uttarapur��a (9th century A.D.). The Tri�a��hi�al�k�puru�acaritra of Hemacandra (12th century A.D.) yields some information regarding T�rtha�kara Mah�v�ra and some of his contemporary rulers. The Mah�v�racariyam of Nemicandra, the Mah�v�racariyamof Gu�acandra Ga�i, the Vardham�nacaritra of Asaga (988 A.D.), and the Vardham�nacarita of Sakalak�rti (1464 A.D.) are late biographical works on Mah�v�ra.

The M�l�c�ra of Va��akera, the A��ap�hu�a, the Niyamas�ra and the Samayas�ra of Kundakunda, the Tattv�rthas�tra of Um�sv�ti, the Sarv�rthasiddhi and the Da�abhakti of P�jyap�da, the K�rtikey�nuprek�� of Sv�mi K�rtikeya, the Ratnakara��a �r�vak�c�ra and the Yuktyanu��sana of Samantabhadra, the Tiloyapa��ati of Yati V��abha, the Trilokas�ra of Nemicandra, the Parm�tmaprak��a of Yogindu, the Gomma�as�ra of Nemicandra, Pari�i��aparvan of Hemacandra and the Vic�ra�re�� of Merutu�ga have been utilised in one way or the other for this work.

(iv) Supplementary Works

The supplementary works may be placed under two heads: (i) the Buddhist and (ii) the Br�hmanical.

(a) Buddhist Works

Like the Jaina canon, the Buddhist canon was not compiled at one particular time. It is primarily concerned with the early Buddhist doctrines but incidentally throws light on the political and cultural aspects of the society as well. Among the Buddhist canonical texts, theVinaya Pi�aka and Sutta Pi�aka are important.

The Mah�vagga and the Cullavagga of the Vinayapi�aka are noteworthy. The Mah�vagga is mainly concerned with the formation of the Sa�gha and its rules, but its incidental references are valuable in that they throw considerable light on the daily life of the people. The rules of the procedure and debates of the assemblies of the republics during this period seem to be the same as those of the Buddhist Sa�ghaswhich were modelled on Sa�gha or Ga�a States. While describing the rules for the Bhikshus, the Cullavagga gives an idea of the articles of furniture, utensils and other amenities of the common dwelling-house.

The Sutta Pi�aka comprises of the following five collections called Nik�yas: (1) D�gha, (2) Majjhima, (3) Sa�yutta, (4) A�guttara, and (5) Khuddaka. In the D�gha, Majjhima and A�guttara, there are references to Niga��ha N�taputta, to his teachings and to the Nirgranthas. These parallel references sometimes prove the correctness of the traditions preserved in the Jaina texts, and thus they are valuable for the history of Jainism during the time of Mah�v�ra. This also leads us to believe that in the days of Buddha, Mah�v�ra was considered to be an important personality and Jainism a strong living religion.

The Brahmaj�lasutta of the D�ghanik�ya is important for the history, not only of Buddhism but of the entire religious life and thought of ancient India. The S�ma��aphala Sutta is a valuable piece of evidence for the life and thought at the time of Buddha, as it appears from the views of prominent non-Buddhist teachers and founders of sects. From the Mah�pari�ibb��a Sutta, it is known that in reply to Var��k�ra, the Chancellor of Magadha, Buddha indicated the seven points of excellence of the Vajj�s which may be regarded as the directive principles of State policy. In the Mah�sudassana Sutta of the D�gha Nik�ya, there is a description of the palace of King Mah�-sudassana.

The Majjhima Nik�ya throws considerable light on the life of Buddhist monks, as also on Brahmanical sacrifices, various forms of asceticism, the relation of Buddha to the Jainas and other systems of the day, the superstitions and the socio-political conditions of the time. The A�guttara Nik�ya gives a list of the sixteen States existing during the time of Buddha.

The Therag�th� and Ther�g�th� are very important on account of the pictures of life they portray, pictures that give us a valuable insight into the social conditions of those days, especially into the position of women.

The J�takas, which form a part of the Khuddaka Nik�ya of the Sutta-Pi�aka, are generally concerned with the day-to-day life of the people. Some of the J�takas supply valuable material for the reconstruction of the political, social and economic history of India during the sixth century B.C. They give us valuable information regarding the constitution of the republics, especially of the Licchav�s, and king’s officers. They throw light on social organization, position of women, festivals and recreations. They mention educational institutions, especially Taxila, the various subjects taught there, the teachers and students. Some of them refer to various professions and industries, trade and commerce, and the guilds in which they were organized. There is also a reference to coins known as K�r��pa�as. The Mah� Ummaga J�taka5 gives a vivid account of the palace of the Mah� Ummaga and also a list of motifs illustrating scenes from heavenly life and mythical beliefs depicted on the walls of the great hall of the Mah�-Ummaga palace.

(b) Br�hmanical Works

Since the Dharma S�tras and the G�hya S�tras are supposed to have belonged to the sixth century B.C., they have been utilised to corroborate certain important pieces of evidence along with the Vedas, and the Upani�ads. Besides throwing a flood of light on the social and economic conditions of the period in question, they sometimes enlighten us about its political and other aspects as well. Baudh�yana in his Dharma S�tra mentions such States as Saur���ra, Avanti, Magadha, A�ga, Pu��ra and Va�ga. The Dharma S�tras also describe the four Var�as and different castes along with their duties and privileges. They discuss the four ï¿½ï¿½ramas (Stages of life) and emphasize the duties of the individual at every stage. They insist upon the mutual cordial relations between the teachers and students. A list of holidays in the Gurukulas has been given, and it is obvious that interruptions in study were allowed for variety of causes and circumstances. In these S�tras, we also find references to icons. The G�ihya S�tras are concerned mainly with domestic rituals.

The A���dhy�y� of P��ini has been used because it supplies valuable political and cultural data of this age. He mentions both classes of States, viz., the republics (Sa�gha or Ga�a) and the kingdoms (Janapadas). That women followed the profession of teaching is apparent from his work which also embodies certain terms that denote the existence of the art of writing. The author discusses town-planning and also refers to some important towns. His work contains references to images.

The traditions preserved in the Pur��as form an important source of information for the history of Mah�v�ra’s time. The fifth and the last section known as Va���nucarita of some Pur��as gives an account of the kings of the ruling dynasties. The names of some of these kings ruling over Magadha, Avanti, K���, Ko�ala etc., are accepted as fairly reliable, because they are partially corroborated by both Jaina and Buddhist literatures.


Though no written record of this period is extant, the monuments and antiquities discovered in the archaeological excavations conducted at different places are helpful for the purpose of historical reconstruction. The existence of some early cities such as R�jag�ha, V�r��as�, Mathur�, �r�vast�, Ujjain and Hastin�pura is proved by archaeological findings, city-walls and fortifications, giving us a rough idea of town-planning during this period.

The actual remains of the buildings of this period are few because of the perishable nature of the material used in those days. The existence of the early structures of St�pas along with some other antiquities are known from their archaeological remains discovered at a village, Lauria Nandangarh, in Champ�ran District of Bih�r and Pipr�hwa (District Basti) at the Nep�l border. Wood, mud and mud-bricks were widely used during this period. Small hearths of bamboo and reed have been discovered at Chandraketugarh and Mathur�. Structures made of mud and mud-bricks are found at N�gd�, Atranjikhera, Hastin�pura, Mathur�, and Rajagh�t. Burnt bricks were used probably for building places of public utility, and their remains have been discovered at Rupar, Hastin�pura, and Ujjain. The historic Jar�sandha k� Bai�haka built during this period at R�jag�ha is of stones. Some of the paintings preserved in the rockshelters dicovered near Pachm�rhi, Mirz�pur, and M�nikpur may also belong to this period.

No sculptures but the terracottas of this period have been discovered at certain places, such as Hastin�pura, Mathur�, Ahichchhatr�, Rajagh�t near V�r��as�, �r�vast� and Sonerpur. These are made of grey, black, polished, and red ware. Both human and animal figurines are found, but the number of human figurines is larger at this date than that found in the preceding culture. These are better modelled than the specimens of the earlier period, and they are decorated by incision, circles and stamps.

The archaeological excavations carried out at different sites give us an idea of the ceramics used by the people. This period was noteworthy for the introduction of some new fabrics, the most important of them being the North Black Polished Ware, known as a prince among the potteries in India. Black slipped Ware, Red and Black Ware, Grey Ware, and Red Ware were the associate potteries of this age which met the increasing demand of the people. Pottery vessels of different shapes, shades, and colour give an idea of the artistic taste of the people.

Metal objects, such as ornaments, beads, and toilets recovered from the early historical sites in excavations, throw an important light on the material life of the people. The discovery of a large number of iron objects at Ujjain, N�gda, Eran, etc. proves the popularity of iron. Its wide use for different purposes resulted in the surplus of wealth and prosperity during this period.

Coins found at Taxila, Paila, Golakhapur, Patrah, etc. seem to have belonged to this age. These coins are punchmarked because they were being punched by a number of symbols successively by different punches. These punch-marked coins known as K�r��pa�as, are the earliest coins of India, and are usually made of silver and copper, though silver pieces are certainly more numerous. The vast majority of the silver punch-marked coins follow the standard of 16 m��akas. The larger and thinner coins are, as a general rule, of an earlier date than the small and thick ones. The number of symbols on the obverse is usually five. The popular symbols during this period were the sun, the six arms, a hill above a tank with two fishes, and a peculiar symbol surrounded with five taurines.

Thus with the help of these different sources, an attempt has been made to give a correct picture of T�rtha�kara Mah�v�ra and his times. Certain handicaps have to be experienced by the historian of so early a period because of the paucity and vagueness of the historical material. In fact, the primary source material remained in the shape of traditions for a considerably long time, and then it was codified. This has been utilised only after a thorough critical examination. At the same time, other independent evidences have also been tapped to corroborate it wherever necessary. Still, however, nothing can be said positively on controversial issues in the absence of substantial evidence.


The Jaina source material for reconstructing the history of the Post-Mah�v�ra Age is abundant. It may be subdivided into three classes – (1) Archaeology, (2) Literature and (3) Writings of the foreigners. Archaeology is further subdivided into (i) Jaina Inscriptions, and (ii) Jaina monuments.


(i) Jaina Inscriptions :- Jaina Inscriptions are found in large number in different parts of India, and they form an important source of information about the history of Jainism. These are engraved on rocks, pillars, copper plates, images etc. These are written in different languages such as Prak�it, Sansk�it, Telug�, T�mil, Mar��h� and Hindi. Br�hm�, N�gar�, Kanna�a and Tamil, scripts were used for writing these incriptions.

These inscriptions may be classified into two groups : (a) those engraved on behalf of the ruling authority and (b) those incised on behalf of private individuals. The second category of inscriptions is found in large number.

These inscriptions record the construction of caves and temples, their renovation, installation of images, donation of villages, land, suvar�as (d�n�ras) and income from taxes to the religious establishments. There are inscriptions mentioning the Sallekhan� of monks, nuns, �r�vakas and �r�vik�s. Some inscriptions refer to the visit of pilgrims to holy places.

These inscriptions also throw light on the historical role of Jainism as they refer to the ruling kings, otherwise unknown, and some of them even supply dates either in regnal years or in a specified or unspecified era. From these inscriptions, it is also known how most of the Br�hmanical kings patronized Jainism, and some of them even accepted it.

These inscriptions are valuable for reconstructing the history of Jaina Sa�ghasGa�as and Gachchhas. We know about the lineage of the Jaina ï¿½c�ryas. M�lasa�gha and K���h�sa�gha are important among the Digambaras, while Tap�gacchas and the Kharataragaccha among the �vet�mbaras. A large number of Jaina inscriptions of the 15th and 16th centuries mention the �vet�mbara Gacchas. Sometimes, these inscriptions correct the names and time of the ï¿½c�ryas mentioned in the Pa���val�s.

These inscriptions are useful for the history of the Jaina castes and Gotras. These castes and Gotras are found mentioned in numerous inscriptions of the 15th and 16th centuries. The fact that most of these castes originated in Rajasthan but migrated to the different regions of India is also known from the inscriptions. This shows that these people were adventurous. Among the �vet�mbaras, Osav�la, �r�m�l� and Pr�gv��a castes were well known while among the Digambaras, Kha��elav�la and Bagherav�la castes were famous. These castes are known to be associated with particular Sa�gha, Ga�a and Gaccha. The peculiar names of some Jaina castes mentioned in the inscriptions indicate that they originated from the tribal people.

The inscriptions mentioned on the images and temples are important in tracing the evolution and growth of Jaina art. These inscriptions are of different periods and regions, and these are written in different languages and scripts. Some are valuable from the literary point of view. Hence, these are useful for reconstructing the history of Jaina literature.

Some inscriptions are of special importance for the history of Jainism. The existence of Jainism in the region of Tamilade�a is attested by the existence of lithic records of the third century B.C. found here.6 The H�th�gumph� inscription of Kh�ravela7 dated second or first century B.C. may be regarded as the Kh�ravela caritra becasuse it gives information about the events of his life. This inscription starts with the invocation (Ma�gal� cara�a‘Namo Arhant�nam and Namo-Sava-Siddh��am’ Such a great Jaina ruler like Kh�ravela is not known from any other source except this inscription. Hence, this inscription is of great importance.

The Pabhosa inscriptions of the second century B.C. record their dedication by A���hasena from Ahichchhatra for the use of Ka�yap�ya Arhats. The Jaina monks enjoyed royal patronage during the �u�ga period.8 A short Br�hm� inscription9 of the first century B.C. found in a cave near Pale in Poon� District proves the existence of Jainism in Mah�r��tra during the first century B.C. The importance of the record lies in the expression ‘Namo-araha�t�na�’ which commences the writing. The Jaina inscriptions of the Ku���a period of Mathur� mentioning the names of Ga�as, Kulas and ï¿½ï¿½kh�s confirm such names found in theSthavir�val� of the Kalpas�tra and also inform about the great prosperity of this region.

The name ‘Samprativih�ra’ found inscribed on a pottery piece at Va��hav��a (Vardham�na) in the Krishna valley proves the historicity of the Mauryan ruler Samprati.10 Some inscriptions of �rava�abelagola dated 600 A.D., 900 A.D., 1128 A.D., 1169 A.D., and 1413 A.D. refer to the tradition of Candragupta Maurya becoming a Jaina disciple of the saint Bhadrab�hu and their migration to �rava�abelagola.11

The J�nagarh inscription12 of the grandson of Jayad�mana belonging to the second century A.D. makes a mention of men who had attained perfect knowledge (Kevalaj��na) and were free from old age and death. This inscription contains the earliest reference to Jaina monks claiming the attainment of perfect knowledge. The Girnar inscription13 actually refers to the Sam�dhimara�a of the Digambara Jain saint Dharasena, the original author of the Digambara canon, who according to the tradition, resided at Candraguh� of Girnar whence the inscription was discovered.

From the inscriptions14 of the fourth or fifth century A.D. engraved on the three stone Jaina images of the T�rtha�karas, it is clear that they were made by Mah�r�j�dhir�ja R�magupta at the preaching of Cheluk�ama�a, son of Goky�nt�, and a pupil of �c�rya Sarppasena Kshama�a, who was the grand pupil of the Jaina teacher Ksham�c�rya. It seems that R�magupta, a local ruler of Vididi�� region, and a follower of Jainism, installed Jaina images. It seems to be the earliest inscription of Jainism so far discovered in Madhya Pradesh. A copper plate inscription15 of the Gupta year 159 (478 A.D.) from Paharpur, Bangal�de�a is interesting as it records an endowment for the worship of Arhats to a Vih�ra in Va�agoh�l� which was presided over by the disciples of Nirgrantha preceptor Guhanandin, belonging to the Pa�ca�t�panik�ya. This grant records that a Br�hma�a and his wife donated three din�ras and land for the maintenance of worship.

A Jaina epigraph16 of the seventh century A.D. discovered from the Jaina temple-complex at Sonagiri proves the great antiquity of this Jaina T�rtha. It refers to a Jaina devotee called Vad�ka who was the son of Singhadeva.

In the temple of Vasantagadh in Sirohi District, a pair of brass images of ��abhadeva has been found underground on which is incised an inscription17 of 687 A.D. This inscription mentions that one Dro�okara Ya�odeva had the Jaina image built by the acrhitect �ivan�ga. This is the earliest archaeological evidence for the existence of Jainism in Rajasthan.

From the Aihole inscription dated 634 A.D., written by Ravik�rti, it is known that with the generous support of his patron Pulake�in II of Bad�mi, Ravik�rti founded a Jaina shrine. The poet Ravik�rti was not only a sincere and dedicated Jaina but also one of the celebrated men of letters of his time.18

The Sailodbhava grant inscription19 of the seventh century A.D. mentions one Jaina Muni called Prabhuddhacandra and his Arhad�c�rya N�sicandra. This proves the existence of Jainism in Orissa in the Seventh century A.D. The Digambara Jaina inscriptions20of the tenth century discovered from Udayagiri-Khandagiri caves belong to the reign of Udyotake�ar� of the Ke�ar� dynasty. These inscriptions prove that Jainism continued to survive in Orissa up to the tenth century A.D. Afterwards, it gradually almost disappeared.

The Bahuriband stone inscription21 of Gay�kar�a records that one Mah�bhoja, son of S�dhu Sarvadhara, erected a temple of ��ntin�tha. The image of ��ntin�tha was consecrated by the ï¿½c�rya Subhadra who belonged to the line of De��ga�a in the ï¿½mn�ya of Candrakara ï¿½c�rya. From the Dubkunda stone inscription22, it is known that encouraged by the teaching of the Jaina monk Vijayak�rti of the L��av�ga�a Ga�a, some Jaina ï¿½r�vakas constructed a Jaina temple, and the Kachchhapagh��a ruler Mah�r�j�dhir�ja of the Dubkund branch and others made some donation of land in favour of this temple in 1088 A.D. There was a Jaina monastery at Dubkunda and the Jaina saints used to reside here.

From the Bijaulia inscription23 dated V.S. 1226, it is known that P�thv�r�ja-II gave the village Mor�jhar� to the temple of P�r�van�tha, and Some�vara endowed it with a village named Rev��� in charity. This inscription also records various donations made to the temple by certain persons of the neighbouring places. This inscription records the construction of the Jaina temples at Bagher�, �o��raisingh, Narai��, M���algarh and Ajmer by the ancestors of Lol�ka. The author of this inscription was Gu�abhadra, a Mah�muni of the M�thura Sa�gha, and he was very learned as is known from the inscription.

The N��ol inscription24 records that Mah�r�ja ï¿½lha�adeva, on the ï¿½ivar�tri day in 1152 A.D., thinking the granting of security to animals to be the highest gift, issued injunctions, for the increase of his spiritual merit and fame, to the Mah�janasTambulikasand other subjects, forbidding the slaughter of living beings on the 8th, 11th and 14th days of both the fortnights of every month in his kingdom.

The �iva shrine of Hanum�na temple at Jambholi in Jaipur District was originally a Jaina temple of Candraprabhu. One inscription25engraved on the stone beam of this temple contains five verses composed by Pa��ita Ni�kalankasena, the brother of Akalankasena in praise of Candraprabha Jina. Of some pontiffs whose names are given – Amritasena, Samyamasenas�ri, Brahmasena and Yogasena, the last pontiff is described as one whose feet were worshipped by the Turushkas.

The royal judgement in the form of inscription26 by king Bukka R�ya of the Vijayanagar Kingdom in 1368 A.D. shows that he was not committed to any religious creed, but by his equity, he had saved religion from persecution.

The inscription27 of V.S. 1548 engraved on numerous Jaina images throughout India records that they were installed by J�var�ja P�pa��v�la through the Bha���raka Jinacandra during the reign of king Sheo Si�gh of Mun��s�. It seems doubtful that so many images were installed by a �r�vaka during the reign of a ruler of a small kingdom. It appears that the inscription of V.S. 1548 continued to be stamped on later images for a long period without any significance.

From the inscription28 by Hemavijaya dated 1593 A.D. in the �din�tha temple of �atru�jaya hill, it appears that H�ravijaya persuaded the Emperor Akbar in 1592 A.D. to issue an edict forbidding the slaughter of animals for six months and abolishing the Jizy� tax.

The Ch�ndakhe�� inscription29 dated 1689 A.D. records that during the reign of Aurangzeb when his S�manta Kishorasi�ha Chauh�na was ruling over Kotah, K���ad�sa, a very rich merchant of the Bagherav�la caste and Chief Minister, constructed a Jaina temple of Mah�v�ra and celebrated the installation ceremony of images in the temple with his wives and sons.

An inscription30 engraved on a slab built in the wall of a Jaina temple at Deoli, (Pratapgarh District, Rajasthan) of 1715 A.D. records that the oilmen of the town agreed to stop working their mills for 44 days in a year at the request of S�raiy� and J�var�ja of the Mah�jana community during the reign of Mah�r�vala P�ithv�si�ha.


Though most of the objects of Jaina art and architecture have been destroyed by the levelling hand of time and the iconoclastic zeal of the foreigners, those surviving ones give an idea of Jaina art and architecture. It is valuable for the history of Jainism. Significant Jaina art objects of different periods and also of separate regions of India are available. The Jaina monuments in the form of st�pas, monasteries, caves, temples, M�nastambhas and sculptures are found. From this, it is evident that Jainism made valuable contribution at every stage in the evolution and growth of Indian culture in the sphere of art and architecture. The period between the ninth and the twelfth century A.D. is considered to be the golden age in the history of Jaina art and architecture because its contributions to the Indian culture during this period are remarkable.


(i) GENERAL WORKS : There are references to Jainism in the famous Tamil works namely Tolk�ppiyam, Kural, Ma�imekhali and ï¿½ilappadik�ram which belong to the so-called Sa�ghama Age (500 B.C.-500 A.D.). The author of Tolk�ppiyam and �ilappadik�rm was himself a Jaina, and Valluvar, the author of Kural, was himself a follower of Jainism, The author of Ma�imekh�laiand the author of N�ladiyar were both Jainas. The Kural contains wonderful references to Jainism.

From the Paumacariyam of Vimalas�ri composed about 530 years after the Nirv��a of Mah�v�ra, it is known that the Jaina religion was introduced in Mathur� by seven saints. There was a temple of Munisuvratasv�m� at S�keta. Jaina saints preached both at S�keta and Mathur�.

The Padmapur��a of Ravi�e�a (676 A.D.), Hariva��apur�na of Jinasena (783 A.D.) and Uttarapur��a of Gu�abhadra (898 A.D.) contain legendary accounts of the Jaina T�rtha�karas, but still these are useful for the history of Jainism.

The Tiloyapa��ati of Yativ��abha (150-180 A.D.) incidentally gives much information on Jaina doctrine, Pur��ic traditions about the T�rtha�karas and other heroes, and about geography and  political history of ancient India.

�iv�rya is the author of the ï¿½r�dhan�, also called M�l�r�dhan� or Bhagavat��r�dhan� which is an important work dealing with the conduct of Jaina ascetics. It is believed to have been the ultimate source of the Jaina Kath�ko�a literature which is represented by the Kath�ko�as of Hari�e�a (931 A.D.), Prabh�candra (980 A.D.), �r�candra (1066 A.D.), Brahma, Nemidatta, R�macandra etc. These works incidentally throw light on the history of Jainism. That �r�vasti became a famous centre of Digambra religion is evident from the Brihat-Kath�-Ko�a of Hari�e�a. It also mentions the migration of the great �rutakevalin, Bhadrab�hu and his disciple, the Mauryan Emperor Candragupta owing to famine in North. Ratnanandi’s Bhadrab�hu Caritra of about 1450 A.D., the Kanna�a works Muniva��abhyudaya of C. 1680 by Cid�nanda and R�java� Kath� by Devacandra also mention this incident of famine. From the K�lak�c�rya Kath�naka, written in 1308 A.D., it is known that K�lak�carya lived and propagated Jainism in Avanti in the first century B.C.

(II) LITERARY WORKS : Haribhadra S�ri throws some light on the conditions of Jainism in his work Samaraiccakah�. The Kuvalayam�l� composed in 778 A.D. by Uddyotanas�ri informs about Jainism in J�lor and the neighbouring regions. It is also known that Toram��a was the disciple of Harigupta. From the Ya�astilakacamp� of Somadeva, it is known that Jainism was known in Bengal during the ninth century A.D. The Jam�d�vapa��atti of Padmanandi written in about the tenth century A.D. at Bara in Kotah District indirectly throws light on the history of Jainism.

The Jine�varas�ri-Sa�yama�r�-Viv�ha-Var�ana-r�sa31 of Somam�rti, written in 1275 A.D. is specially related to Khe�a. The Prav�sag�tik�traya32 of Jay�nanda written in 1307 A.D. informs about Jaina temples and families at Giripura. TheK�rtiratnas�ri-viv�hal� and the K�rtiratnas�ri-Caup�� of Kaly��acandra composed in V.S. 1525 yield valuable information about Mehav� (Nagara) regarding temples, people and religious activities during the fifteenth century A.D.33. The Gurugu�aratn�kara K�vya34 of Somacandra Ga�i written in V.S. 1541 and the Upade�atara�gi�� of Ratnamandira Ga�i are specially concerned with the activities of Jainism at Giripura and M�ngathal�. From the P�r�van�tha �rava�a-Satt�vis� 35 of �hakkuras�, who lived in the sixteenth century A.D. at Chaksu, it is known that Ibr�hima Lod� attacked Ranathambhor which was ruled at this time by R��� S�ng�.

The L���sa�hit� (1575 A.D.) of P���e Rajamalla, the Jamb�sv�m� Caritra (1585 A.D.) of P���e Jinad�sa, the ï¿½r�p�la-Carita (1594 A.D.) of poet Parimala and the A�jan�sundar�r�sa (1604 A.D.) of Vidy� Har�a S�ri inform that Akbar held Jainism in high esteem. From the Jaml�sv�m� Caritra, it is also known that S�ha To�ara renovated the T�rtha of Mathur� by constructing 514 st�pas. From the Ya�odhara Caritra written in V.S. 1659 by Bha���raka J��nak�rti, it is known that S�ha Na�u, Prime-Minister of M�nasi�ha of �mber got built twenty Jaina temples36 of twenty T�rth��karas at Sammeda�ikhara. The Ardhakath�naka (1641 A.D.) of Ban�rs���sa is important from the Jaina historical point of view. He also led pilgrimage of the people to holy places.37

(III) HISTORICAL WORKS : There are some ancient historical writings from which we may draw certain conclusions after their critical examination. The Dvy��raya and the Tri�a��i�alk�puru�a-caritra of Hemacandra S�ri are useful for the history of Jainism under the C�lukyas. The Prabh�vaka Caritra of Prabh�candra S�ri written in V.S. 1361, the Pur�tanaprabhandha Sa�graha of R�ja�ekhara written in V.S. 1405 and the Prabandha Cint�ma�i of Merutu�ga written in 1306 A.D. contain numerous interesting anecdotes about several Jaina monarchs and saints. The Vastup�la caritra written in the 15th century by Jinahar�a and Vimalacaritra written by L�va�yasamaya in V.S. 1568 are useful for the history of the faith during this period. The C�mu��ar�ya Pur��a written in the Kanna�a language gives information about the life of C�mu��ar�ya. The Karmacandra Va��ota K�rtana K�vyam of Jayasoma of the 17th century supplies us a mine of information about the life of Karmacandra and the condition of Jainism in Bikaner state.

The Dar�anas�ra of Devasena written in V.S. 909 throws a great deal of light on the origin of the Sa�ghas in the Digambara Sa�gha. The Upake�acaritra written in V.S. 1393 is useful for Jaina history. From the Upake�a gachchha Prabandha, it is known that the Muslim army of Muhammad Ghori, while passing, destroyed Osia in 1195 A.D. The Yugapradh�n�c�rya Guru�vali of Jinap�la Up�dhyaya written in V.S. 1305 is a reliable source of history about the lives of the Jaina saints. According to the N�bhinandanoddh�ra Prabandha, Emperor Gay�sudd�n was much pleased with Samara��ha and highly honoured him.

(IV) TÏ¿½RTHA MÏ¿½LÏ¿½S : The T�rtham�l�s are another important source material for the purpose of this work. The holy places in early times were considered equally important as compared to the capitals of the States and Principalities. These T�rtham�las are the recorded accounts of holy places by saints and scholars, who visited them. These are just like our so-called ‘guide books’. We find in them, their names, history of their origin, and miracles associated with the T�rthas, their importance and the description of temples and images. Some of their accounts being based on legends are not reliable.

The Pr�k�ta Nirv��ak���a of Kundakunda and Sansk�ta Nirv��a Bhakti of P�jyap�da give information about the ancient Jaina T�rthas. As ���dhara mentions these two works, these belong to the earlier period than the 13th century A.D. Dhanap�la in his poem Satyapur�ya Mah�v�raUts�ha refers to holy places which were in existence in the tenth century A.D.38The Sakalat�rthastavana39 by Siddha��i (of the 12th century A.D.) is very important because it contains a list of holy places. TheVividhat�rthakalpa40 of Jinaprabhas�ri is important both from the literary and historical points of view. It gives a brief history of the holy places. Madanak�rti, author of the 13th century A.D., in his work ‘��sanacatustri��atik� describes the Jaina holy places. He informs how the invasion of Iltumish brought destruction to the holy place of Abhinandana of M��galapura in M�lavade�a.

Vinayaprabhas�ri, an author of the fourteenth century A.D., makes a mention of holy places, and describes their main temples. Saubh�gyavijaya and �ilavijaya (1689 A.D.) wrote the T�rtham�l�s which are important. A description of some T�rthas is given in the Upade�a-Saptati written in V.S. 1503 by Somadharma. Bha���raka Gu�ak�rti mentions holy places in the T�rthavandan�-Sa�graha while Bha���raka �rutas�gara refers to them in the Bodha-Pr�bh�ta. J��nas�gara in the Sarvat�rtha-vandan� mentions fifty-two Sa�ghapatis who performed the installation ceremony of several images. ï¿½ï¿½ntiku�ala in his ï¿½r� Gaud� P�r�va T�rtham�la written in 1670 A.D. refers to Merta as a holy place of the Jainas. In V.S. 1741 Bhaiy� L�la has written the Nirv��ak�n�a in Hindi giving the list of holy places.

The T�rtham�l�s and the Stavanas were written about Jirav�la, N�gd�, Phalodh�, Nako�� P�r�van�tha, Nagara, R���-Mah�v�ra, Hathun��, Ma��ha�a, R�va�a P�r�van�tha Alwar, Candr�vat�, M���u etc. Bha���raka Padmanandi, pupil of Prabh�candra, wrote the J�r�val� P�r�van�tha Stotra in the fifteenth century.

In the medieval times, even the Caitya Parip���s, describing the pilgrimage of persons to different temples of a particular place, their names, situation in different wards, their direction and even number of images, were written. The Ma��ap�cala Caitya Parip��� mentions that there were twenty-two temples containing about 562 Jaina images, Among the Caitya Parip���s. J�lora Caitya-Parip��� of N�ga��i, Jaisalamera Caitya Parip�t� of Jinaku�alas�ri, Citrak�ta-parip�t� of Jayahemas�, N�gaura Caitya Parip��� and Me�atav�la Caitya-parip��� are noteworthy.

(V) PRAÏ¿½ASTIS : The Pra�astis, written at the end of manuscripts are as important as the inscriptions for the history of Jainism, but they do not belong to the early period. From about the twelfth century A.D., the writing of the Pra�astis of the manuscripts had become a general feature. They invariably mention the time, when they were written and refer to the rulers, in whose time they were composed. They mention the genealogy of the donor, his caste and gotra. Some times, these Pra�astis enlighten us about facts, not known to us from any other source.

From the Pra�astis of the Upade�am�l� v�tti of Vijayasi�has�ri (V.S. 1191), and the Munisuvrata-caritra (V.S. 1193) of Candras�ri, it is known that P�ithv�r�ja-I put golden cupolas on the Jaina temples of Ra�thambhor.41 From a Pra�asti of theDharm�m�ta��k� of ���dhara, it is known that he left M���alga�ha for Dh�r�nagar� because of the invasion of Muhammad Ghori.42 The Pra�asti of Jinadatta carita written in V.S. 1275 (1218 A.D.) reveals that at the time of Muslim invasions, the poet Lakshma�a left Tribhuvanagiri (Tahan garh) for Bilrampur.43 From Nemi Jina Carita of the poet D�modara written in V.S. 1287 at Salak�a�apura during the reign of the Param�ra ruler Devap�la, it is known that he left Gurjarade�a (Rajasthana) and settled in M�lavade�a.44 That the Jainas were happy and prosperous in M���u during the reign of Ghiyath Shah is borne out from the praises that have been lavished in the Pra�asti of the Kalpas�tra transcribed in 1198 A.D.45 The A���lak�apra�asti of Samayasundara tells us that Jinabhadras�ri founded Jaina Bha���ras at Jaisalmer, Jalor, Nagaur etc.46

From a B�hubali Carita Pra�asti written in 1397 A.D. by Dro�ap�la, it is known that Prabh�candra defeated his opponents in debate and pleased Muhammad Bin Tughlaq.47 From a Pra�asti of the work Puru��rthanu�asana written by the poet Govinda, it is known that one of his ancestors named Amarasi�ha was the officer of the emperor Muhammad, and earned name and fame.48 From a Par�asti of the Holire�uk� carita written in 1551 A.D., it is known that Haripati and Rekha were devotees of Padm�vat� and they were honoured in the royal courts of Firoz Shah and Shershah respectively for their vast knowledge in the science of medicines.49 From a Pra�asti of the Ya�odhara carita dated V.S. 1659 of Bha���raka J�a�ak�rti, it is known that N�nu, Minister of King M�nasi�ha of Amber, built twenty temples of the twenty Jaina T�rtha�karas at Sammeda �ikhara.50

Several copies of the Manuscripts were written, and their Pra�astis are helpful for reconstructing the history of Jainism. From a Pra�asti of the ï¿½tmaprabhodhana written in V.S. 1547, it is known that the old name �ripath� of Bay�n� was retained up to the 15th century A.D.51 From the Pra�asti of the B�hat-Siddha Cakrap�j�, it is known that the poet wrote it in R�hetasapura in V.S. 1584 during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Babar.52 The poet Mahindu wrote the ï¿½antin�tha carita at the inspiration of Agrawal S�dh�ra�a in Yogin�pura in V.S. 1587 during the reign of the Mughal emperor Babar.53

(VI) PAÏ¿½Ï¿½Ï¿½VALÏ¿½S : The important Pa���val�s are the Kharataragaccha Pa���val�, Tap�gachccha Pa���val�, Upake�agacchha Pa��avali, M�lasa�gha Pa���val� etc. They contain description of the incidents from the lives of the various saints who lived in different periods. The Kharataragaccha Pa���val� refers to the visit of Jaina ï¿½c�ryas to towns where they were cordially received by rulers and their subjects. Various kinds of functions were organised in their honour. They performed the consecration ceremony of the temples and images, and sometimes, they initiated interested persons into monkhood. By their inspiration, the ï¿½r�vakas organised pilgrimages to holy places. This Pa���vali sometimes mentions unknown rulers and also corrects the wrong dates of some rulers from the late chronicles. The Upake�agaccha-Pa���vali and the Koran�agaccha Pa���val� are specially concerned with the towns of Osia and Kor�� respectively. According to the Digambara Jaina Pa���val�, Vikram�diya was devoted to the religion of the Jina, and then reached heaven.54 The M�lasa�gha-Pa���val�55 informs about the activities of the ï¿½c�ryas at Cittor, Ajmer, Bagher�, Ch�ksu, N�gaur, �mber etc. TheBha���raka-Pa���val� of K�emendrak�rti gives an account of his life and his movements from one place to another between V.S. 1697 and V.S. 1757.56

(VII) VAÏ¿½Ï¿½Ï¿½VALÏ¿½S : Some Va���valis of the castes are helpful for the history of Jainism. They give information about the origin of their respective castes and gotras. The Osav�la-Va���val�s from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth century A.D. are in the collection of AGARCHAND NÏ¿½HATA of Bikaner. A rich collection of Va���val�s was in the possession of GYAN SUNDAR. These Va���val�s of their respective castes were maintained by the bards. They contain an account of the construction of temples and images, and organization of pilgrimage by Sa�ghas to some holy places. They also give a lot of insight into the lives of some well-known persons born in certain Jaina communities. Sometimes, they yield important information regarding the political history of the period. The regaining of Jodhpur from Shershah by M�ladeva with the help of Tej� Gaddhaiy� is known from the Va���val�.57The Chaur�s� Jaina J�ti Jayam�la of Brahma Jinad�sa of the 15th century and the Buddhivil�sa ï¿½ï¿½ha Bakhta R�ma mentions eighty-four castes. This mention is useful for the history of Jaina castes .

(3) WRITINGS OF THE FOREIGNERS : The writings of Greeks, of Yuan Chwang and Arab travellers throw interesting light on the conditions of Jainism during their respective periods. The Greek writers Strabo and Pliny, who based their account on Megasthenese, an envoy in the court of Candragupta Maurya, supply valuable information about Gymnosophists (Digambara Jaina saints) whom Alexander met in Western India.58

The Chinese pilgrim Yuan Chwang, who came to India in the second quarter of the seventh century A.D., gives an account of Jainism which was prevalent in pockets at different sites such as K�pi��, Si�hapura, R�jag�ha, Pu��ravardhana and Samata�a.59 Some information about Jainism is available in the writings of the Muslim travellers Abu Zaidul and Asral Bilad who visited Western India in about the eighth or ninth century A.D.60

  1.       SBE, XXII, p. 266.
  2.       Ibid, XLV, p. xxxviii.
  3.       SBE, XLV, p. 339.
  4.       Ibid, p. xxxix.
  5.       Mah� Ummaga J�, VI, 432.
  6.       U.P. SNAH and M.A. DHAKY Ed. Aspects of Jaina Art and Architecture, p. 215.
  7.       E I, XX, pp. 71-78.
  8.       Ibid II, pp. 240-244.
  9.       Ibid, XXXVIII, pp. 167-168.
  10.       Arhant Vacana, V, pp. 35, 49-58.
  11.       JSLS, Nos 17-18, 54, 40 and 108.
  12.       E I, XVI, p. 241; LUDER’S List No. 966.
  13.       JSHI, pp. 112-113.
  14.       Journal of the Oriental Institute, Baroda, XVIII, p. 247.
  15.       E I, XX, pp. 59-61.
  16.       JSLS, IV, No. 5.
  17.       APJLS, No. 365.
  18.       E I, VI, p. 7.
  19.       Ibid, XXIX, pp. 38 f f.
  20.       Ibid, XIII, pp. 165 f f.
  21.       CI I, IV, Pt. I, No. 59.
  22.       E I, II, pp. 232-240.
  23.       Ibid, XXVI, p. 108.
  24.       E I, XI, p. 43.
  25.       I, Ar.- A. Review, 1970-71, p. 52.
  26.       JSLS, No. 136 (344)
  27.       Jainism in Rajasthan, p. 78 f n. 8.
  28.       E I, II, p. 59 No. XIII.
  29.       Jainism in R�jasthan, p. 36.
  30.       ARRMA, 1934-35, No. 17.
  31.       JSP, XVIII, p. 187.
  32.       Ibid, III, p. 259.
  33.       JSP, XX, p. 73.
  34.       ï¿½r� Mah�ravala Rajata Jayanti Abhinandana Grantha, p. 398.
  35.       Gu�ak� No. 404 in the Jaina ��stra Bha���ra of Ajmer.
  36.       JUPJ, p. 22-24.
  37.       Ibid, pp. 22-23.
  38.       JSS, III.
  39.       GOS, LXXVI, p. 156.
  40.       JSP, XVII, p. 15.
  41.       GOS, LXXVI, pp. 312 and 316.
  42.       JSAI, p. 344.
  43.       AK, VIII, p. 400.
  44.       PJPI, II, p. 194.
  45.       UPENDRANATH DEY : Medieval Malwa, pp. 422-428.
  46.       JSP, XVI, p. 16.
  47.       JGPS, II, p. 19.
  48.       Ibid, II.
  49.       Ibid, I, No. 45.
  50.       Ibid, No. 171, p. 112.
  51.       See a copy of this manuscript in the ��strabha���ra at Bayana.
  52.       JGPS, I, p. 64.
  53.       Ibid, II, No. 87, PJPI, pp. 525-526.
  54.       I A, XX, p. 347.
  55.       PR, 1883-84. See also IA, XX, and XXI.
  56.       Manuscript No. 430 in the Sambhavan�tha temple, Udaipur.
  57.       Anek�nta, II, No. 6, p. 249.
  58.       MCCRINDLE : Ancient India, p. 68 f. n. 1; pp. 72, 73, 169, 183, Ancient India as described by Megasthenese and Arrian, p. 136.
  59.       THOMAS WATTERS : On Yuanchwang’s travels in India.
  60.       The History of India as told by its own Historians, Vol. I, pp. 504.