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The Antagada-Dasao and Anuttarovavaiya-Dasao (An Old and Rare Book)

The Antagada-Dasao and Anuttarovavaiya-Dasao (An Old and Rare Book)
Item Code: NAW298
Author: L.D. Barnett
Language: English
Edition: 1973
Pages: 158
Other Details: 9.00 X 6.00 inch

The Jain Church, two of whose scriptures are translated in the following pages, has a history as singular as its creed. Created, or at least reconstructed, by Mahavire Naya-putte in the fifth century before Christ, it spread rapidly over the whole of India, a companion and rival of its younger sister Buddhism. Its former greatness may be still traced in the lands north of the Vindhya Mountains by the Jain communities dwelling in most of the centres of culture. But it developed most powerfully in the Dekhan. It found an early home in Maisur, and it proved its grati- tude nobly; for the classical literature of the Kanarese language begins with a great series of Jain scholars and poets. In the Tamil country it was equally active, zealously sharing in the highest culture of the age; the noblest of Tamil poems, the Jivaka-cintimani, is a Jain work, as are several other Tamil classics. And in the presidency of Bombay the literary and social influence of the Jains has been, and still is, very great. Nevertheless, in spite of this history and in spite of the fact that they are still a rich and honoured community,! they have been until recent years almost wholly ignored by HKuropean students. Sometimes they have been confused with Brahman‘c Hinduism, more often with their Buddhist brethren, who hence have obtained more credit than is due to them for the softening of the heart of India. But neither the political, nor the literary, nor the religious history of India can ever be written until an exact study has been made of the parts played therein by both these great Churches.

The Jain Church, like the Buddhist, claims immense antiquity. According to its traditions, it has passed through twenty-three periods, and is now in the twenty-fourth, dating from the apostolate of Mahavire Naya-putte, or Vaddhamane (in Sanskrit Mahavira Jnatr-putra, or Var- dhamina), whom we shall frequently meet in the following pages under the title of "The Ascetic" (samane). The Sanskrit names of his predecessors are, in their traditional order of time, as follows: Rsabhanathe, Ajitanatha, Sambhavanatha, Abhinandanatha, Sumatinatha, Padma- prabha, Suparsvanatha, Candraprabha, Suvidhinatha or Puspadanta, Sitalanatha, Sreyamsanatha, Vasuptjya-svami, Vimalanatha, Anantanatha, Dharmanatha, Santinatha, Kunthunatha, Aranatha, Mallinatha, Munisuvrata-svami, Neminatha, Aristanemi (whom we shall meet in the following pages under the Prakrit name Aritthanemi), and Parsva- natha. Naturally these names are merely legendary, with the possible exception of the last; for it seems quite probable that the movement of Mahavire was essentially a reformation of an existing fraternity of Parsvanathiya monks.

The Naya-putte family was an aristocratic one. They were ksatriyas, dwelling chiefly in Nolliga, near the ancient city of Vaisali, or Vesali!; and Mahavire was the younger son of one of their rajas. His father, Siddhartha, was married to Trisali or Videhadatta (Vaidehi), sister of Cetaka or Cedaga (Jiyasattt), King of Vesali; and of Cetaka’s daughters Cellanad married Bimbisira or Senie (Srenika), the great King of Magadha, while the other, Migavai (Mrgavati), married Sayanie or Satainika of Kosambi. The family was thus closely connected with some of the noblest houses of Eastern India; and Mahavire, who was born, according to tradition, in 599, and died in 527 B.c., had a brilliant political career open to him.

His tastes, however, led him in another direction. To one of his grim temperament religion offered a more honourable career than courts; and the prospect of pontifical power was attractive to an ambitious younger son. At the age of thirty he took the vows, and entered an ascetic fraternity observing the rules traditionally ascribed to Pairsvanitha. After a short time he left them, and established a severely ascetic brotherhood, claiming direct spiritual descent from Parsvanitha and his legendary predecessors. These Nirgranthas, or Niggauthas, as they were called—the word means "loosed from bondage became numerous in Bihar,! and thence spread their doctrines over the rest of India.

The Jain creed is based upon the formula of the ‘‘ Nine Verities’’ (nara-tattra), namely, ‘‘ Soul, Non-soul, Influx, Exclusion, Dissipation, Imprisonment, Release, Merit, Sin.’ As in the Brahmanic and Buddhist creeds, the Jains postu- late an infinite number of souls (jira), wandering from birth to birth in accordance with their "works" in former incarnations. "Work" (karma) is a physical force, which by its "influx" (dsrara) into the soul defiles its ideal purity until its ‘dissipation " (nirjara) ; and it is the duty of man to cleanse his soul from this "imprisonment" of matter by penances, religious exercises, and godly life, to the end that it may be finally released and dwell for ever apart from physical influences, in a condition of absolute know- ledge and bliss.?

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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