Why Chavundray wrote it in Marathi too?
Shavanbelagola is an ancient shrine of Jains and its history goes back to at least the time of Chandragupta Mourya, the first historical emperor of Bhaarat, the greater India. (B.C.E. 2 nd Century). He was disciple of Acharya Bhadrabahu, became a Jain monk and migrated to South India with his pontiff. He was known as Prabhachandra. Later he took Sallekhana (Death by starvation). The hill where he took sallekhana is known as Chandragiri. On this hill, the charans (feet) of Chandragupta are carved at the highest pick of the hill in his memory.
Shravanbelgola is situated in the South Karnatak and it is very far from the Marathi speaking area and Maharashtra. It is interesting to know that why the Sentence ‘Shree Chamundraye Karviyale' is written in Marathi? To discuss this issue, we should know about the Marathi speaking followers of Jainism.
According to the 2001census of India, about 30% of total Jains in India are residents of Maharashtra. A large number of them are migrated from Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. Although they are fluent in Marathi language, their mother tongues are either Gujarati or Rajsthani or Hindi. They are migrated within last 100 to 200 years. The Marathi sentence ‘Shree Chavundraye Karviyale' was surely not for them. On the other hand there is a large number of Jains in Maharashtra who are migrated from Karanatak. They have migrated mostly in 13th century and afterwrads. They are originally Kannad speaking people and although they are Marathi speaking people today, even today they can understand and speak Kannada language. So the sentence ‘Shree Chavundraye Karviyale' was not for them also.
So the question arises: For whom the Marathi sentence was written? The only answer could be: It was written for the Marathi speaking people of that era, i.e. 10th Century, who were visiting Shravanbelagola in large number at that time. And why they were visiting Shravanbelagola? Because they were followers of Jainism. And where are they now? The answer is that they have been converted to other faiths.
It is well known fact that till 13th century masses in Maharashtra were following Jainism. We can confirm it by the history of Kadambs, Rastrakoots, Chalukyas and Shilahars. But later due to political, social and religious conditions people started to get converted to other faiths, especially after the fall of Shilahars. I would like to write about it in next part of this article.