Nov 18, 2007

Jainism in South India

By Justice T.K. Tukol

There may not be any other religion in India which is as muchmisunderstood and misrepresented as Jainism. Many scholars haveasserted that it is an off-shoot of Buddhism and a revolt fromHinduism. Even an eminent historian like Arnold Toynbee has assertedthat Bhagavan Mahavira is the "founder of Jainism" and that theJainas were "amongst the fossilized relics of similar societies nowextinct." He has also said that the Jainas of India could be seen tobe fossils of Indian society developing under the Mauryan Empire.Mrs. Sinclair has opined that `both Buddhist and Jaina orders aroseabout the same time, the sixth century B. C., a period when constantwars between various little kingdoms must have made the lot of thecommon people hideous with suffering and oppression; and a man mightwell have longed to escape from all fear of rebirth into such asorrowful world..."

Popular opinions like these have been oblivious to the advances thathave been made by numerous research scholars, both Eastern andWestern. The Vedas, which according to Hinduism are a relation,contain verses in adoration of Surya, Indra and Agni. Jainism rejectsthe authority of the Vedas but the Vedas, however, refer to some ofthe Tirthankaras. The Rigveda contains references (astak 2, Varga 17to Arishtanemi, the twenty-second Tirthankaras while the Yajurvedarefers to three Tirthankaras; Rshabha, Suparsva and Neminath (cantos25 and 92). Dr. S. Radhakrishna accepts the tradition of the Jainaswho ascribe the origin of their system to Rshabhadeva who lived manycenturies back. He also mentions that the Bhagavat Purana endorsesthe view that Rshabhadeva was the founder of Jainism. The Manusmrticontains a verse which states that in the beginning of the age (yuga)was born the first Jina to Marudevi from the eighth Nabhi Manu, whowas the hero of action, saluted by the Gods and demons and propagatedthe rules of ethics. Besides mentioning these facts, the BhagavatPurana gives details of advice which Rshabha gave to his sons; thatadvice is consistent with the principles of Jainism.

The finds in the excavations at Harappa and Mohanjadaro offerconvincing support to the view that Jainism is an ancient religion,quite independent of any other. Sir John Marshall's monumental worksrefer to the seals found during the excavations of Mohanjadaro. Thefigures on plates xii and cxviii have been studied and are found toresemble Jaina yogis in the Kayotsarga posture. Prof. Prana NathVidyalankar has said that the inscription on Indus seal No 449 readsaccording to his decipherment as "Jinesharah/" These excavations aresaid to be more that 4000 years old. "There can be little doubt'observed Sir C. V. Kumarswami Sastriar, the Chief Justice of theMadras High Court, "the Jainism as a distinct religion wasflourishing several centuries before Christ." One can, thereforeconclude, without fear of contradiction that Jainism is a pre-vedicreligion which flourished in India even before the advent of theAryans to this country.

While the aforesaid conclusion is unassailable, there is not thatconvincing evidence about the existence of Jains in the South evenprior to the advent of the Aryans. Dr. P. B. Desai, while writingabout the existence of `Jainism in South India" has mentioned thatliterary tradition in the Andhra Desa testifies to the visit of LordMahavira in the 6th century B. C. to the northern frontiers of AndhraPradesha, then known as Kalinga desa for the propagation of hisgospel. Nayasena, a Kannada poet who composed his Dharmamitra in 1112A. D. had referred to Dhanada, a Jain prince of the Ikshvaku family,ruling over the Vengi Mandala which is identified with the territoryof the Andhra Pradesha lying between the rivers Godavari and Krishna.There is evidence to show that Samprati, the grandson of Ashok hadsent Jaina missionaries to preach their religion to this part of thecountry. The Satavahanas who ruled over the Andhra Pradesh were knownto be patrons of Jains. There are many legends and traditionscharacteristic of Jaina faith attributed to this period of history.

Mahavamsa which is a Buddhistic work expressly refers to theprevalence of Jainism in Ceylon during the 4th century B C. There isno reason to doubt the veracity of the references in the book. Theinevitable conclusion to be drawn from these references Is that thefollowers of the Jaina faith must have migrated to the South muchprior to the 4th century B. C. and also settled in Ceylon.

That the Jainas migrated in large numbers is further strengthened bythe fact that Bhadrabahu migrated to the South alongwith his royaldisciple Chandragupta Maurya and about 1200 monks and nuns, when heforesaw with his insight that there was to be a severe famine in theNorth. An inscription of the 6th century A. D. found on theChandragiri Hill at Sravanabelgola reads as follows : "Success, be itwell. Victory has been achieved by the venerable Vardhamana, theestablisher of the holy faith and the embodiment of the nectar ofhappiness resulting from the perfection attained, who has acquiredsupreme honor in the world by his inconceivable greatness and hasattained the great position of an Arhat by the abundance of hisreligious merit which procured for him the name of Tirthankara... Nowindeed, after the sun of Mahavira... had set, Bhadrabahuswami, of alineage rendered illustrious by a succession of greatmen who came inregular descent from the venerable supreme rishi Gautamaganadhara,his immediate disciple Loharya, Jambu, Vishnudeva, Aparajita,Govardhana, Bhadrabahu, Visakha, Proshthila, Krittikarya, Jayanama,Siddhartha, Dhritishena, Budhila, and other teachers,-who wasacquainted with the true nature of the eight-fold great omens and aseer of the past, present and future, having learnt from an omen andforetold in Ujjayani a calamity lasting for a period of twelve years,the entire sangha (or Community) set out from the North to the Southand reached by degrees a country counting many hundreds of villagesand filled with happy people, wealth, gold, grain and herds of cows,buffaloes, goats and sheep... Then separating himself from theSangha, an acharya Prabhachandra by name, perceiving that but littletime remained for him to live and desiring to achieve samadhi, thegoal of penance associated with right conduct, on this high-peakedassociated with right conduct, on this high-peaked mountain-whichforms an ornament to the earth and bears the name Katavpra...badefarewell with the herds of boars, pathers, tigers...dismissed thesangha in its entirety, and in the company of a single disciple,mortifying his body on the wide expanse of cold rocks accomplishedsamadhi...And in course of time seven hundred rishis similarlyaccomplished samadhi...Victorious be the doctrine of Jina."

The hill acquired the name of Chandragiri on account of associationwith Chandragupta Maurya. The oldest temple on the hill is calledChandragupta basti. here is a cave in which there are foot-printscarved out and is known as Bhadrabahu cave. There are thirty-oneinscriptions on this hill which refer to Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta.

These inscriptions cannot be brushed aside as referring to afictitious incident. Vincent Smith, who has written a history ofancient, India, admits the historicity of this event as havinga "solid foundation in fact." While subscribing to this view, Prof.S. R. Sharma states that it was "a period of vigorous prosperity." B.L. Rice R. Narasmihacharya and Dr. S. A. Saletore have accepted thetrustworthiness of the historical events as recorded in theinscriptions at Sravanabelgola. It would be most reasonable to inferthat there must have been good population of Jains in South India towelcome Bhadrabahu, his twelve hundred disciples as also his royaldevotee. Bhadrabahu would not have thought of the South in case hewanted to save the Sangha from starvation and hardship. There musthave been sufficient number of religious-minded and rich Sravakas andSravakis who could look after the munisangha.

It is expressly stated in the inscription at Sravanabelgola that manyof the saints in the Sangha went further to the South. Like Asoka,his grandson Samprati spread the Jaina religion by construction oftemples and stupas. We find inscriptions in the Brahmi script in thecaves of Ramanad and Tinnavalli situated within state of Tamilnadu.Even the Tamil literature establishes the existence of Jainism inthis part. since ancient times. The last lamented Prof. Chakravartiheld the view that the most famous book Tirukkurul was composed byKundakundacharya. Tolkappiyam another old book in Tamil literaturebears the most striking impress of Jaina concepts of religion and theuniverse. Dr. P. B. Desai has observed that another Tamil workNaludiar is couched in Jaina associations. According to tradition,this work is a composite composition of eight thousand Jaina monksdeparting from the Pandyan kingdom against the wishes of its rulerwho was attached to their faith, as stated by Prof. Chakravarti inhis book on Jaina Literature in Tamil.

Even to this day, we find numerous remniscences of Jainism speakingof its glory in the Tamilnadu. King Pandukabhaya who ruled this partin the fourth century B. C. constructed in and round about hiscapital Anuradhapura many caves and rest houses for the Nirgranthamunis, as borne out by the Prakrit inscriptions. He also erected atemple in the city. This is an important landmark in the history ofJainism. Rajawalikathe, a Kannada composition of Devachandra,contains a number of collections of legends and traditional accountsof the Chola and Pandyan rulers of ancient Tamilnadu. There isepigraphic evidence to show that Visakhacharya visited this part ofthe country along with his disciples, as directed by Bhdarabahu andpreached the tenets of Jainism to the inhabitants who were alreadyfamiliar with the doctrines of that religion. This shows that even inthe third century B. C. there were people who were followers of theJaina religion. The research scholars of the Ephigraphist's office atMadras have discovered many caves on various hills; those cavescontain beds carved out in rocks. Such caves are to be found in thehilly regions of Pudukottai, Madura and Tinnevelly districts of thestate. Such caves are to be found in the hilly regions of Pudukottai,Madura and Tinnevelly districts of the state. Such caves are to befound in the hilly regions of Pudukottai, Madura and Tinnevellydistricts of the state. There are water facilities near the caves,thus implying that ascetics must have lived in seclusion in thesecaves. Near the caves found on the hills like Annamalai, Marugaltalaiand Sittannavasal, there are inscriptions carved in the Brahmi scriptbut the language Paisachi Prakrit.

Dr. P. B. Desai has noted that near the caves at Tirupparankuram,there are naked figures with cobra hoods indication that they must beof Parsvanath Tirthankara. In the caves of Muttupatti, there aresculptures of Jaina deities on the boulders sheltering the beds. ManyJain idols have been sculptured in the rocks on the Poygaimalai Hill.Three are many other hills which abound in Jaina relics of early age.There are many such relics on hills in the districts of Arcot, Maduraand other districts.

Kanchi and the area round about seem to have been the resort ofJainas under the Pallava kings. Near Kanchi, there was the monasteryof a Jaina monk by name Dharmasena; there are two temples dedicatedto the Tirthankaras Vrshabhadeva Vardhamana, which are supposed tohave been installed by Mahendravarman I, the Pallava King at theinstance of his teachers Mallishena and Vamana. At a distance of twomiles from Conjeevaram, we have a place called the Jaina Kanchi wherethere is the big idol of Bhagavan Vardhamana popularly calledTrailokyanathswami. There is a large number of Jaina icons preservedin this place. One strange feature is that in this area there aremany figures of Yaksha and Yakshinis carved out in many temples,leading to he inference that the worship of these guarding dietieswas current in 800 A. D. or so.

Tirumalai hill hear Polur is a famous centre of Jaina antiquities.The village has a number of Jaina families. They are in possession ofa number of Jaina families. They are in possession of a number ofJaina scriptures on palm leaves in original Samskrit or Prakrit withTamil commentary; Trailokya Chudamani, Tattvarthasutram,Jeevandharacharitamu, Gunabhadra's Mahapurana etc. There areepigraphs which relate to the period of Krishna III of theRashtrakuta period (957 A. D.). Ponnur appears to have been animportant centre where there is big idol of Adinatha Tirthankara;there are many icons of which the notable icon is that of Jwalamlini.A Dravida monk by name Helacharya is reputed to be the originator ofthe cult of Yaksha and Yakshini worship which is more popular in theSouth than in the North. There are many places in the North Arcot,South and Chingelput Districts where Jains are found in good numbers.

Of all the States in the South, the Karnataka State is undoubtedlythe richest from the points of Jaina Art, Architecture andliterature. Sravanabelgola which was hallowed by the visit ofBhadrabahu in third century B. C later became the centre ofpilgrimage when Chamundaraya erected the monolithic statue of 57.5ft. in height on the Vindhyagiri Hill in about 981 A. D. It is uniquefrom the point of its magnificence, grandeur and divine expression ofsmile on its face. A similar statue of Bahubali measuring 41.5 ft. isto be found at Karkala installed in 1432 A. D. while a third onemeasuring 35 ft. in height at Venur was erected in 1604.

It is worthy of notice that each of the three has been carved out ofa single rock and "commands respectful attention by their enormousmass and expression dignified serenity." They are all colossalstatues of unrivalled dignity, as if preaching the Jaina message ofAhimsa and truth from the hilltops to the entire world. Kannadapoets, ancient and modern, have sung the glory and grandeur of theirmonolithic calm and perfect harmony. The facial expression of each ofthese statues is one of deep contemplation. They however differ inthe degree of perfection attained by the artist, the one atSravanabelgola being superb in every respect.

The Jaina temples erected all over the South India are anothercontribution of Jainism to the architecture of India, if not, of theworld. The manasthambhas or the tall standing pillars in front ofmost of the temples are wonderful conception. "In the whole range ofIndian art", observes Smith, "there is nothing, perhaps, equal tothese Kanara pillars for good taste", and decorative sculpture. Thetemples at Mudabirdi have left a permanent impress on Indianarchitecture. Fergusson who is an authority on Indian architecturehas observed that "nothing can excel the richness or the variety withwhich they are carved. No two pillars are alike, and many areornamented to an extent that may almost see fantastic. Theirmassiveness and richness of carving bear evidence to their beingcopies of wooden models. The Tribhuvanatilaka Jinalaya temple is amarvel of Jaina architecture". There are temples of exquisite beautyat Coorg. The temples at Sravanabelgola, Jananathpura, Hansoge andHalebeedu are spacious with individuality of their own. The pillarsin the Shantinath Temple at Halebeedu have been so polished that thereflections of the individuals looking at them convey differentfigures both in size and posture. Similarly, the pillars of thetemple at Belgaum are highly polished and strongly magnetic. TheChaturmukha-bastis at Mudabirdi Laxmeshwar and Gersoppa are the bestmodels of four-faced temples.

There are numerous temples at Aihole, but today there are Jainaimages only in three temples, the Meguti temple being the mostfamous. The temple at the darga area of Bijapur has the idol ofBhagavan Parsvanath with a thousand-hooded Cobra. Banavasi andBhatkal which were ones ruled by Jaina Kings have exquisite temples.At a distance of ten miles from Bhatkal, which were ones ruled byJaina kings have exquisite temples. At a distance of ten miles, fromBhatkal, there is a place called Haduhalli deep in the midst of hillssurrounding the area, there are three temples; one of them hasbeautiful images of twenty-four Tirthankaras with the most beautifulcarved images of Dharnendra and Padmavati. Perhaps, the images seemto have been carved by the same sculpture who made identical imagesat Sriranagpatna situated at a distance of ten miles from Mysore.

In a short article like this, it would be impossible to give detailsof the numerous temples to be found in Karnataka and Tamilnadu. Thetemple adjoining the Math at Sravanabelgola and the cave temple atBadami bear witness to the wall-paintings which are clearly visibleon the walls inspite of the lapse of hundreds of years. In theformer, we have a picture of a Samvasarana with Bhagavan Parsvanathpreaching the eternal doctrines of Jainism. The others illustrate theJaina concept of lesyas of samsara and other puranic stories. Thereare some wall paintings at Kanchipuram and Tirumalai in the State ofTamilnadu. Aparat from these wall-paintings, we have manuscripts ofKalpasutra and of Bhaktamarastotra which illu trate the subject bymeans of paintings on the palm-leaves.

All the unique art and architecture would not have flourished in theSouth or the dakshinapatha if it had not been the stronghold ofJainism "since a hoary antiquity." Nandas, Mauryas and Satavahanaswere rulers of the Deccan who patronized Jainism and promoted itsspread. The Kadambas and Gangas were Jaina Kings. The Kadambas ofBanavasi and the Chalukyas who succeeded Pallavas, were undoubtedlyJains. It is noteworthy that Simhanandi who was a famous JainaAcharya was the Guru of the Ganga Kings, Madhava and Dadiga. Theircapital was Kuvalalapura which is identifies with modern Kolar inKarnataka. They ruled in about 250 A. D. Harivarma, the grandson ofKongunivarma (or Madhava) shifted his capital to Talakadu. Avinita,who hailed from this dynasty, was a great ruler of learning andearned a name for his just administration. Vijayakeerti who waswellversed in the Jaina scriptures was his Guru and adviser.Avinita's son Durvinita ruled in 482 A. D. under the guidance of thefamous Jaina Acharya Pujyapada. Gangas were also a famous Jainadynasty of Kings who ruled over Karnataka for about 300 years and hadextended their kingdom as far as Nepal. Marasinha-II was a famousruler whose prowess finds description in the inscriptions atSravanabelgola in 866 A. D. (No. 38). He was a brave king anddefeated the Chera, Chola and Pandya kings. He was not only learnedin the Jaina scriptures but also became a monk by being initiatedinto sanyasa by Guru Ajitasena who resided in the temple at Bankapurawhich is still standing as a monument in memory of the great Acharyaand of the death by Sallekhana by Marashima II in 975 A. D. astestified to by an inscription.

Chamundaraya was the Prime Minister of Marashimha and served thelatter's son Rachamalla in that capacity of a general. Anybody whohas read the Ephigraphia Caranatica Vol. II will know how muchChamundaraya has been extolled for his valour, generosity andstatesmanship. It is he who got the image of Bahubali atSravanabelgola carved out. His Guru Nemichandra who is famous as aSiddhant-Chakravarti wrote a book on a Jaina philosophy which henamed as Gommatasara. Chamundaraya was himself a learned scholar andthe purana that he wrote is known as Chamundaraya Purana. He alsowrote a book in Samskrit known as Charitrasara. His contribution toJaina art, culture, religion and philosophy is unique, not equalledby any other political figure in history.

The Chalukyas who ruled from 419 to 1156 A. D. were great patrons ofJainism in Karnataka. Among them Pulakesi I is very famous inhistory. He is also called Satyasraya and was the patron of Ravikirtiwhose famous inscription in Samskrit found at Aihole is noted for itsdiction, poetic grandeur and linguistic excellence, comparable onlywith that of Kalidasa. Vikramaditya II of this family is also famousin history. His queen Jakaladevi was a Jaina and built a temple atIngalagi. It is this dynasty that patronized Pampa, the great poetand author of Adipurana.

The Hoysala Kings were also Jainas. The first king Poysala studiedunder a Jain monk by name Sudatta. Vinayaditya II was the mostpowerful king of this dynasty and Shantideva Muni was his Guru.Ballala was another king of this line. Bittideva who was a famousking was converted to vaishnavism by Ramanuja but his famous queenShantaladevi who continued to remain a Jaina was the patron of artand literature. She built temples at Sravanabelgola and Halebeeduwith the blessings of her Guru Prabhachandra. She adopted the vow ofSallekhana and died at Shivaganga as is borne out by an inscriptionat Sravanabelgola, though Shri K. V. lyer has wrongly stated in hisnovel entitled Shantala that the committed suicide. Bittideva'sgeneral and prime minister Gangaraja was a Jaina who under theguidance of his Guru Subhachandra did many acts of piety and religionto advance the cause of Jainism. One of his generals was a Jaina ladyby name Jakkiyabbe who was compared to Sita and Rukhmini. Thetreasures was Hulla who built the famous temple Bhadrachudamani atSravanabelgola, having installed idols of 24 Tirthankaras. He grantedmany lands in charity to the temples at Sravanabelgola, Koppal andBankapur.

The period of Rashtrakutas (757 A. D. to 973 A. D.) was a gloriousperiod in the history of Karnataka Jainism. Amoghavarsha was a Jaina.He was also called Nrpatunga. His book Kavirajamarga which is thefirst work in Kannada, mentioning the earlier writers. TheJayadhavala-tika was written by Virasenacharya under his patronage.Jinasena, the author of Parsvabhyudaya, was his Guru and has blessedhis royal pupil at the commencement of his book. Amoghavarsha iscredited with authorship or Ratnamalika and has been praised by hisco-pupil Gunabhadra for his wisdom and learning. Dr. R. G. Bhandarkarhas stated that "of all the Rashtrakuta kings, Amoghavarsha was thegreatest patron of Jainism..."There are many other kings of thisdynasty who ruled in different parts of Karnataka.

Among the Kalachuri kings that ruled (1156-83 A. D.) over Karnataka,mention must be made of Bijjala. He was a king of great religioustolerance and had Basaveshwar of the Veerssaiva faith as hisminister. In a contest between Jainas and Lingayats at Ablur, Bijjalais credited to have given a decision in favour of the latter. Heruled at Kalyana which is today named as Basava-Kalyana. It is mostunfortunate that Bijjala was murdered and a large number of Jainaswere converted into Virasaivas. The Ratta kings were another dynastyof Jaina rulers who have left their mark at Suandatti, Huli andBelgaum where they constructed some temples. The inscriptions tracedfrom this area speak of their faith. Under the Vijayanagar Kings,there were many Jaina ministers and generals. During the periods ofRamanuja in Karnataka and of Saivas in the Tamilnadu, there were manypersecutions of Jains who were converted to Vaishnavism or Saivism.

As Dr. Maurice Winternitz has observed, "It would take a fairly bigvolume to give a history of all that the Jainas contributed to thetreasures of Indian literature. "The most noted writer in South Indiais Kundakunda whose numerous works on various aspects of Jainaphilosophy, metaphysics, epistemology and logic number more than 84.Umaswati's Tattvarthasutra is known as the Jaina Bible. Pujyapada,Akalanka, Vidyananda, Prabhachandra and Srutasagara are some of theJaina commentators from the South on Tattvarthasutra. Samantabhadra'sRatnakardanda-Sravakachara is a popular work on Jaina ethics. He haswritten many other books. Prabhachandra and Vidyananda are the otherwriters in Samskrit whose name must mentioned with respect. Jinasen'sAdipurana is quite popular.

Dr. Saletore has stated that "the Jaina teaches, as the intellectualcustodians of the Anhdradesa, the Tamil land, and Karnataka mostassiduously cultivated the vernaculars of the people, in wrote inthem great works of abiding value to the country. Almost all theearly Jaina writers were profound scholars in Samskrit and theRenowned classics in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada were produced bythem. "So far as Kannada literature is concerned, R. Narshimhacharyawho has written three volumes of Kannada literature, has called theperiod of Jaina writers "as the Augustan Age of Kannada literature".I have already referred to the earliest work : Kaviraja-marga whichis the only work that mentions the boundaries of Karnataka as havingspread from Godavari to Kaveri. The author has mentioned the names ofearlier writers who were also Jainas. Pampa, Ponna and Ranna arecalled the Ratna-trayas of kannada literature. Each of them composeda secular work as also a religious purana to serve the cause of thepublic as also of their own religion. Pampa's Vikamrarjuna-Vijay andAdipurana, Ponna's Bhuvanaikaramabhyudaya and Shantipurana andRanna's Gadaddhya and Ajitapurana occupy a special place of pride inKannada literature on account of their poetic excellence and grandeurof conception. All the three poets flourished in the tenth century.Then came Nagachandra or Abhinava Pampa whose Ramayana andMallinathapurana are unique for their descriptive power and facilityof expression. E. P. Rice considers the Ramayana as unique since itpreserves the Jaina version of that epic. Waddaradhane ofShivakotyacharya and Chamundaraya Purana of Chamundaraya are the onlytwo earliest works in prose. Kabbigarakava of Andayya and Dharmamritaof Nayasena are two works which were written in pure Kannada withoutthe use of Samskrit words. Nemichandra's Lilavati is a beautifulpoem.

The contribution of Jaina writers and poets to Kannada literature hasbeen so rich and varied that it forms a glorious chapter in thehistory of Kannada literature. Kesiraja's Sabdamanidarpana is astandard work on grammar and linguistics and stands unequalled tothis day. Bhattakalanka Deva has written another valuable work ongrammar, prosody and linguistics. Sridharacharya wrote a book onastrology while jagaddala Somanath has written a book entitled :Kalyana-Karaka on medicine. Rajaditya has written a book onmathematics. Brahma Kavi has written a book called Samaya Pariksha onJaina ethics. Bharatesha Vaibhava of Ratnakar Varni is a marvelouspoem on the life of Bharat.

I have already referred to a few important works of Jaina poets inTamil. Yasodhara Kavya, Chudamani, Udayanan Kathai, Nagakumara kavyamand Neelakeshi are some of the Kavyas written by Jaina authors.Sripurana is a popular poem among the Jaina.

There are some Jaina writers and poets in Telugu but many of theirworks have not been available. As Dr. S. Krishnaswami Iyengarsays : `There must be a Jaina period in Andhya Literature before the11th century as in Kannada Literature, the absence of which is amystery to be solved by historians. "Adharvanacharya was a poet well-versed in Samskrit and Telugu. He is said to have written a book onprosody and grammar at the beginning of the 13th century. Gokarna isanother poet who wrote a book entitled "Kavijanasraya" Padma Kavi haswritten Jinendra Purana while Sarvadevayya has written Adipurana.

It is a unique feature of Jaina writers that they have contributedworks of literary merit in all Indian languages. As Dr. MauriceWinternitz has said : "It would take a fairly big volume to give ahistory of all that the Jainas have contributed to the treasures onIndian literature." There is no Indian language in which the Jainashave not contributed to the secular or religious literature ofdifferent languages in our country. They were men of broad outlook,identified themselves with the people of the region where theysettled and tried their best to enrich the spiritual, social andliterary thoughts of that region. This speaks of their catholicityand mastery of languages.

"Today...the followers of Jainism are an insignificant religiousminority in these areas in contrast to the rich contributions whichthe Jaina monks and laymen have all along made to the culturalheritage of this part of our land. There are Jaina caves on sedudedbut inspiring spots; there are temples which are fine specimens ofart, sculpture,

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