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Jainism in North India (800 BC - AD 526)

This book concentrates on the origin of Jainism in north India and its evolution during 800 bc to ce 526 when, not yet crystallised into a set structure and codified into religious books, it retained a genuineness. below

About This Book

This book concentrates on the origin of Jainism in north India and its evolution during 800 bc to ce 526 when, not yet crystallised into a set structure and codified into religious books, it retained a genuineness.

This reprinted volume is now offered in a fresh state-of-the-art typeset. The photographs are improved versions of the earlier ones with more lustre and colour.

Based on the original study of Jaina sources and involving criticism of various opinions, the study establishes Jainism as the most powerful religion of the north from the days of Parshva (800 bc) to the Kushana and the Gupta periods and even the Vallabhi kings. It begins with Jainism's antiquity with reference to Parshva's historicity and scrutinises references to Jainism in Hindu and Buddhist literature. It discusses the life of Mahavira and the Jaina religious philosophy that developed under him and later it traces the influence of Jainism on royal dynasties and clans that held sway from 800 to 200 bc. It views the arrival and growth of Jainism in Kalinga region by studying numerous evidences in caves, temples and inscriptions. It specially reviews Jaina literature and art in north India. A detailed perspective is offered of crucial aspects like the date of Mahavira's nirvana by consulting a host of Jaina religious literature and modern scholarly studies.

The volume will benefit scholars and students of Indology, and of Indian religions in particular.

  • Foreword By : Rev. H. Heras, S.J.
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124603093
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 812460309X
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 2007
  • Pages : xxvi, 296 p.
  • Bibliographic Details : 2 Maps; 8 Colour plates; 20 b/w photographs; Bibliography; Index
  • Size : 25 cm
  • Weight (approx.) : 850 gm

List of illustrations
List of Abbreviations


I. Jainism Before Mahavira

Indication of the term Jainism  
Origin of Jainism 
Traditional claim to antiquity higher than modem criticism admits 
Parshva and Mahavira considered historical personages
Grounds of Parshva's historicity
Early references to Jainism in Buddhist literature
Connection between the Jaina church of Parshva and Mahavira  
References to Jainism in Hindu literature 
Modern scholars on the antiquity of Jainism 

II. Mahavira and His Times

Some details about Parshva 
Mahavira comes two hundred and fifty years after Parshva 
A great flourish of religion in India 
Increasing influence of the brahmanas and the privileges of the caste system
Virtual ending with Mahavira and Buddha of the abuses begotten of the privileges of the caste system 
No anti-brahmana prejudices at the root of this great Indian revolution
A gradual change in the history of Indian thought and outlook on life


Jainism in general 
Life of Mahavira
Exchange of embryo 
Mahavira's parents are worshippers of Parshva and followers of the shramanas 
Ascetic career of Mahavira   
Mahavira's nudity and the interpretation of the Jaina canon 
Mahavira's wanderings covered a wide area 
The date of Mahavira's Nirvana 


Origin of the world according to the Jainas 
Jinas, the spiritual leaders of the Jainas 
Jiva, Ajiva, Punya, Papa, Ashrava, Samvara, Bandha, Nirjara and Moksha
The way to Moksha lies through the Ratnatraya, or "the Three Jewels"
Samyag-Darshana (Right Belief), Samyag-Jnana (Right Knowledge) and Samyag-Caritra (Right Conduct) 
An absolved soul said to enjoy all the attributes of God 
Tirthankaras and Kevalins or Samanya-Siddhas
Indication of the term Tirthankara
Ideal of Ahimsa
Two disciplines of Samayika and Pratikramana
Doctrine of Syadvada or Anekantavada 


Some of the most important schisms of the Jaina church
The seven Ninhagas or Ninhavas -- Jamali, Tisagutta, Asadha,  Ashvamitra, Ganga, Chalue, and Goshtamahila
Goshala Mankhaliputta, the most prominent rival of Mahavira
Relative position of Mankhaliputta in the great wave of religious enthusiasm in India
Dr Barua and the Ajivika sect of Goshala
Goshala's influence on the formulation of the reformed church of Mahavira 
The date of Goshala's death 
The Ajivika sect from an historical point of view
The second epoch-making division in the Jaina church
The Shvetambara and Digambara sects of the Jainas
Various traditions about the schism 
General unanimity about the period of the schism
Root cause of the schism: Is nudity a necessary condition of saintship?
The Jainas and the cult of nudity   
The chief points on which the two divisions do not agree
Mathura sculptures and the great schism
Two distinct divisions not in existence till the beginning of the Christian era
Final separation about the period of the great council at Vallabhi
The non-idolatrous sect and other minor divisions in the Jaina church
A mania for divisions a peculiarity of the Jainas
Reasons why Jainism is still a living sect 

III. Jainism in Royal Families 800 -- 200 bc

The epoch of Parshva
Jaina literature the only data for the period of Parshva 
Royal patronage in the days of Parshva 
Absence of all data from Parshva to Mahavira 
A lacuna of two hundred and fifty years 
The days of Mahavira 
His father Siddhartha
The Videhans, the Licchavis, the Jnatrikas and the Vajjis of the Confederacy of the Vajjis or the Licchavis
Their relations with the Mallaki clans and the Ganarajas of Kashi-Koshala 
All these clans had directly or indirectly come under the influence of Mahavira's teaching 
The Videhans 
The Licchavis 
The Jnatrikas 
The Vajjis 
The Mallakins 
The Ganarajas of Kashi-Koshala 


The sixteen Mahajanapadas and the Jaina church
Empire of Magadha and its importance in the light of Jaina history 
Different dynasties that rule over Magadha and the Jaina church 
The Shaishunagas
The Nandas 
The Mauryas 

IV. Jainism in Kalinga-Desha

Jainism in Kalinga-desha is Jainism of the days of Kharavela
The Hathigumpha inscription the only historical source for Kharavela
Importance of Orissa in the light of Jaina history 
Ruins neighbouring the Hathigumpha inscription 
The Khandagiri and Udayagiri Hills honeycombed with caves or cells 151 mostly dating back to the second or third century bc
The Satbakhra, Navamuni and Ananta caves 
The Barabhuji, Trishula and Lalatendu-keshari's caves
The Rani and Ganesha caves 
The Jayavijaya, Swargapuri, Tiger and Serpent caves 
Historical importance of this fragmentary evidence 
Prominence given to Parshva 
The Jaina temple on the Khandagiri Hill
The Hathigumpha inscription 
The eighth line of the inscription and the date of Kharavela 
Contents of the inscription 
Kharavela and the Jina of Kalinga 
Antiquity of Jainism in Kalinga 
Kharavela and the Jaina religion

V. Mathura Inscriptions

After Kharavela comes Vikramaditya of Ujjain 
Era of Vikrama and Siddhasena Divakara 
Gardhabhilla, the predecessor of Vikrama, and Kalikacarya 
Saint Kalaka and Satayana of Pratishthanapura 
Siddhasena Divakara and his times 
Padaliptacarya and the traditions connected with him 
Traditional literature of the Jainas and the reality of Vikrama and his era
Mathura inscriptions and their importance in connection with the Jaina church 
Kankali Tila the source of Jaina records of Mathura 
Inscriptions connected with the Satraps of Mathura 
Dated and undated Kushana inscriptions 
Mathura inscriptions and their importance in the light of the history of the Jaina church 

VI. State of Jainism During the Gupta Period

Historical background from the Kushanas down to the advent of the Guptas 
Extent of the Gupta Empire 
State of religion during the Gupta period 
Epigraphic evidence of the sympathy of the Guptas towards the Jainas                                                                                  
The Kuvalayamala tradition and the Jaina chronicle of the Gupta period 
Rise of the Vallabhis and the end of the Guptas 
Dhruvasena I, the fourth in the Vallabhi list, and the end of the unrecorded period of Jaina history 

VII. Jaina Literature of the North

Introductory remarks 
The siddhanta of the Jainas 
Digambara belief regarding the Shvetambara canon 
Grounds in favour of the Shvetambaras 
Fourteen Purvas
Twelve Angas 
Twelve Upangas 
Ten Painnas or Prakirnas 
Six Chedasutras
Four Mulasutras 
Two isolated texts 
Language of the canon 
Commentatorial works called the Nijjuttis or Niryuktis 
Bhadrabahu the oldest commentator 
Dharmadasagani the contemporary of Mahavira 
Umasvati and his works
Siddhasena Divakara and Padaliptacarya the outstanding luminaries of Jaina literary history 

VIII. Jaina Art in the North

Jainism finds its best expression in architecture
Some of the architectural and pictorial remains beyond our period 
Those of our period 
Certain characteristics of Indian art in general 
Caves of Orissa -- their artistic importance, etc. 
The institution of relic worship in the form of Stupas idolatry among and that of the Jainas                                                                        
Remains in Mathura 
Ayagapattas of Mathura 
The Vodva Stupa built by the gods 
Torana sculptures of Mathura 
Ornamental slab showing Nemesa's feat 




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